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QUINTILIANUS, Marcus Fabius (0.35- 
c.9$ AD) of Calagurris in Spain was 
brought up at Rome, but was in Spain 
from 6 1 to 68, when with the new-made 
emperor Galba he returned to Rome. 
There he became head of the most impor- 
tant school of Oratory, and sometimes 
pleaded in the law-courts. The emperor 
Vespasian (6979) made him a 'Professor 
of Latin Rhetoric' until he retired to 
compose a lost work on why eloquence 
had declined, and the extant Institutio 
Oratoria 'Training of an Orator' (in twelve 
books). He was also teacher to the em- 
peror Domitian's two grand-nephews. 

Quintilian had been taught by the famous 
Seneca and Domitius of Nimes. He greatly 
admired the long dead orator Cicero, 
whom he saw as a model for orators of his 
own age. His Institutio propounds for an 
orator a training in character and oratory 
from birth. He presents us with interesting 
and important views on general education, 
deals in detail with all oratorical composi- 
tion and the devices of rhetoric, and 
outlines the ideal orator. His review of the 
past literature of Greece and Rome is 
famous and makes him a good literary 
critic. The whole work is composed in a 
dignified yet pleasant style, and his judge- 
ments are fair and gentle. 

1 , 








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LCL 124 







First published 1920 
Reprinted 19,3,3, 195.3, 1958, 196.3, 1969, 1980, 1989, 1996 

ISBN 0-674-99138-9 

Printed in Great Britain by St Edmundsbury Press Ltd, 

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on acid-free paper. 
Bound by Hunter i~ Foulis Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland. 






Preface. Ch. 1: Elementary Education. Ch. 2: 
The merits of public and private education com- 
pared. Ch. 3 : General reflections on the capacity 
and treatment of pupils. Ch. 4: Grammar. 
Ch. 5 : Correctness ; barbarisms ; pronunciation : 
the aspirate ; accents ; solecisms ; words, foreign, 
compound, metaphorical, new, etc. Ch. 6 : Lan- 
guage ; analogy ; etymology ; old words ; au- 
thority ; usage. Ch. 7 : Orthography ; difference 
between spelling and pronunciation. Ch. 8 : Read 
ing ; authors to be read ; methods of teaching 
value of history. Ch. 9 : Composition. Ch. 10 
Other studies necessary to rhetoric; music, geo 
metry, astronomy. Ch. 11 : Instruction to be 
derived from the stage ; delivery ; gesture ; reci- 
tation ; gymnastic. Ch. 12 : Boys capable of study- 
ing a number of subjects at once. 

BOOK II 203 

Ch. 1 : Rhetoric not begun early enough ; relations 
between rhetor and grammaticus. Ch. 2 : Choice 
of a teacher ; mutual duties of teacher and pupil. 
Ch. 3 : Necessity of avoiding inferior teachers. 
Ch. 4 : Elementary rhetorical exorcises ; narratives ; 
proof and refutation ; panegyric and denunciation ; 
commonplaces ; theses ; reasons ; preparations for 
pleadings ; praise and blame of particular laws ; fic- 
titious declamations. Ch. 5 : Assistance to be given 
to pupils. Ch. 6 : Declamation. Ch. 7 : Ortho- 



graphy. Ch. 8 : Different methods required for 
different pupils. Ch. 9 : Pupils to regard teachers as 
in loco parentis. Ch. 10 : Themes for declamation ; 
criticism of existing practice. Ch. 11: Criticism of 
those who think instruction in rhetoric unneces- 
sary ; necessity of thoroughness of method. Ch. 12 : 
Merits and defects of untrained speakers. Ch. 13 : 
No rigid rules possible ; necessity of adaptability ; 
value of rules. Ch. 14: The term rhetoric or 
oratory ; heads under which it is to be considered. 
Ch. 15: What is oratory? Various definitions; 
Quintilian's definition. Ch. 16: Oratory denounced 
by some because of its capacity for harm ; its 
excellences and value. Ch. 17 : Oratory an art ; 
critics of this view ; critics of its morality ; re- 
lation to truth. Ch. 18 : Arts or sciences of 
three kinds ; rhetoric a practical art or science, 
though partaking of the nature of theoretic and 
productive arts. Ch. 19 : Nature and art. Ch. 20 : 
Is rhetoric a virtue ? Ch. 21 : The subject of 
rhetoric ; Quintilian's view ; criticism thereof ; 
relation between oratory and philosophy ; range 
of the orator's knowledge. 

BOOK in 369 

Ch. 1 : Apology for dryness and detail of the more 
technical portion of the work ; writers on rhe- 
toric ; Greeks ; Romans. Ch. 2 : Origin of oratory. 
Ch. 3 : Divisions of the art ; their order ; their 
nature. Ch. 4 : Are there three sorts of oratory 
or more? Various views. Ch. 5: Distinction 
between things and words ; questions ; definition 
of a cause. Ch. 6 : The status or basis of a cause ; 
a highly technical chapter. Ch. 7 : Panegyric. 
Ch. 8 : Deliberative oratory. Ch. 9 : Forensic 
oratory ; the parts of a forensic speech. Ch. 10 : 
A cause may turn on one controversial point or 
more ; nature of the cause to be first determined. 
Ch. 11: Next points to be determined; the 
question, the mode of defence, the point for decision, 
the foundation of the case ; various views. 



Spanish origin, being born about 35 A.D. at Cala- 
gurris. His father was a rhetorician of some note 
who practised with success at Rome. It is not sur- 
prising therefore to find that the young Quintilian 
was sent to Rome for his education. Among his 
teachers were the famous grammaticus Remmius 
Palaemon, and the no less distinguished rhetorician 
Domitius Afer. On completing his education he 
seems to have returned to his native land to teach 
rhetoric there, for we next hear of him as being 
brought to Rome in 68 A.D. by Galba, then governor 
of Hispania Tarraconensis. At Rome he met with 
great success as a teacher and was the first rhetor- 
ician to set up a genuine public school and to receive 
a salary from the State. He continued to teach for 
twenty years and had among his pupils the younger 
Pliny and the two sons of Domitilla, the sister of 
Domitian. He was also a successful pleader in the 
courts as we gather from more than one passage in 
his works. Late in life he married and had two 
sons. But both wife and children predeceased him. 



He died full of honour, the possessor of wide lands 
and consular rank. The date of his death is un- 
known, but it was before 100 A.D. He left behind 
him a treatise " On the causes of the decadence of 
Roman oratory" (De causis corruplae eloquentiae}, the 
present work, and a speech in defence of a certain 
Naevius Arpinianus, who was accused of murdering 
his wife. These are the only works known to have 
been actually published by him, though others of 
his speeches had been taken down in shorthand and 
circulated against his will, while an excess of zeal on 
the part of his pupils resulted in the unauthorised 
publication of two series of lecture notes. The 
present work alone survives. The declamations 
which have come down to us under his name are 
spurious. Of his character the Instil utio Oratorio, 
gives us the pleasantest impression. Humane, 
kindly and of a deeply affectionate nature, gifted 
with a robust common sense and sound literary 
judgment, he may well have been the ideal school- 
master. The fulsome references to Domitian are 
the only blemishes which mar this otherwise pleasing 
impression. And even here we must remember his 
great debt to the Flavian house and the genuine 
difficulty for a man in his position of avoiding the 
official style in speaking of the emperor. 

As a stylist, though he is often difficult owing 
to compression and the epigrammatic turn which he 
gives his phrases, he is never affected or extravagant. 
He is still under the influence of the sound traditions 


of the Ciceronian age, and his Latin is silver-gilt 
rather than silver. His Institutio Oratorio,, despite 
the fact that much of it is highly technical, has still 
much that is of interest to-day, even for those who 
care little for the history of rhetoric. Notably in 
the first book his precepts as regards education have 
lasting value : they may not be strikingly original, 
but they are sound, humane and admirably put. In 
the more technical portions of his work he is unequal ; 
the reader feels that he cares but little about the 
minute pedantries of rhetorical technique, and that 
he lacks method in his presentation of the varying 
views held by his predecessors. But once he is free of 
such minor details and touches on themes of real 
practical interest, he is a changed man. He is at 
times really eloquent, and always vigorous and 
sound, while throughout the whole work he keeps 
the same high ideal unswervingly before him. 



Ed. princeps, Campano, Rome, 1470. 
Gronov, Leyden, 1665. 
Gibson, Oxford, 1693. 
Obrecht, Strassburg, 1698. 
Burmann, Leyden, 1720. 
Capperonnier, Paris, 1725. 
Gesner, Gottingen, 1738. 

Spalding, Leipzig, 1798-1816, with supplementary volume 
of notes by Zumpt, 1829, and another by Bonnell, 1834. 


Zumpt, Leipzig, 1831. 

Bonnell, Teubner texts, 1854. 

Halm, Leipzig, 1868. 

Meister, Leipzig, 1886-7. 

Radermacher, Teubner texts, 1907 (Bks. 1-6). Second 
edition by V. Buchheit, 2 vols., 1959. 

D. M. Gaunt, M. Fabii Quintiliani Institutio Oratoria. 
Selections with commentary and summaries of the intervening 
material. London, W. Heinemann. 1952. 


Bk. 1, Fierville, Paris, 1890; F. Colson, Cambridge, 1924. 

Bk. 10, Peterson, Oxford, 1891. 

Bk. 10 and 12, Frieze, New York; Bk. 12, R. G. Austin, 
Oxford, 1948. 

Of the above the commentary of Spalding and the texts of 
Halm, Meister and Radermacher are by far the most im- 
portant. Peterson's edition of Bk. 10 contains an admirable 
introduction dealing with the life of Quintilian, his gifts as 
a critic, his style and language and the MSS. 



In connection with the history of rhetorical theory and 
practice at Rome, the following works are of special 
importance : 

Cicero, de Oratore (Ed. Wilkins, Oxford, 1892). 
Cicero, Orator (Ed. Sandys, Cambridge, 1889). 
Cicero, Brutus (Ed. Kellogg, Boston, 1889). 
Tacitus, Dialogus de claris oratoribus (Ed. Peterson, Ox- 
ford, 1893). 

For the history of Latin rhetoric and education the 
following works may be consulted : 

Norden, Die Antike Knnstprosa, Leipzig, 1898. 

Volkmann, Die Rhetorik der Griechen und Ro'mer, Leipzig, 

Marquardt, Das Privatleben der Ro'mer, pp. 80-126, ed. 2, 
Leipzig, 1886. 

Wilkins, Roman Education, Cambridge, 1905. 


Guthrie, London, 1805. 

Watson, in Bohn's series, reprinted 1903. 


The MSS. of the Institutio Oratorio, fall into three 
groups : 

(1) The Codex Ambrosianus (E153), an eleventh-century 
MS. now at Milan. Chs. ix. iv. 135 to xn. xi. 22 are missing. 

(2) The Codex Bernensis (351) of the 10th century. 
The Codex Bambergensis (M. 4, 14) of the 10th century. 
The Codex Nostradamensis (Paris, Lat. 1S527) of the 

10th (?) century. 

This group has the following lacunae : I. to i. 7 ; v. xiv. 
12 to vin. iii. 64 ; vm. vi. 17 to 67 ; ix. iii. 2 to x. i. Iu7 ; 
xi. i. 71 to ii. 23 ; xn. x. 43 to end. The gaps are to be 
supplied from the Codex Bambergensis, in which they have 
been filled in by a later hand from a MIS. resembling the 

(3) A number of late MSS of the 15th century of the 
usual type. 



Occasional assistance may be obtained from the Ars 
Iihttorica of Julius Victor (Halm, fihct. Lat. minores, II. 
pp. 373 sqq.), which is based on Quintilian and often tran- 
scribes whole passages : the Rhetorical treatise attributed 
to Cassiodorus (Halm, op. cit. p. 501) is also sometimes 

The text in this volume is that of Halm, with a few slight 
alterations in reading, and a considerable number in punctu- 
ation. The first family is indicated by A in critical notes, 
the second by B. \Yhere particular MSS. are mentioned 
they are indicated by their name 


Critical edition: ed. M. Winterbottom (OCT), 2 vols, 
Oxford 1970. 

Editions with commentary: Book I, by F. H. Colson, Cam- 
bridge 1924 

Book III, by Joachim Adamietz, Munich 1966 

Book XII, by R. G. Austin, Oxford 1954 2 . 

Studies: Jean Cousin, Etudes sur Quintilien, Paris 1936. 

G. M. A. Grube, The Greek and Roman Critics, London 1965 

George Kennedy, Quintilian, New York 1969 

M. Winterbottom, Problems in Quintilian (BICS Suppl. 25), 
London 1970 

Lexicon: E. Bonnell, Leipzig 1834 (repr. 1963: vol. 6 of 
G. L. Spalding's edition). 

Survey: Jean Cousin, 'Quintilien 1935-1959,' Lustrum 1 

(1963) 289-331 


A = Codex Ambrosianus I, llth century. 

B = Agreement of Codex Bernensis, Bambergensis and 
Nostradamensis, 10th century. 

G = Codex Bambergensis in those passages where gaps 
have been supplied by a later 11th-century hand. 





EFFLAOITASTI cotidiano convicio, ut libros, quos ad 
Marcelluni meum de Institutione oratoria scripseram 
iam emittere inciperern. Nam ipse eos nondum 
opinabar satis maturuisse, quibus componendis, ut 
scis, paulo plus quam biennium tot alioqui negotiis 
districtus impendi ; quod tempus non tarn stilo quam 
inquisition! instituti operis prope infiniti et legendis 

2 auctoribus, qui sunt innumerabiles, datum est. Usus 
deinde Horatii consilio, qui in arte poeticasuadet, ne 
praecipitetur editio nonumque prcmatur in annum, 
dabam iis otium, ut, refrigerate inventionis amore, 
diligentius repetitos tanquam lector perpenderem. 

3 Sed si tanto opere efflagitantur quam tu adfirrnas, 
permittamus vela ventis et oram solventibus bene 
precemur. Multum autem in tua quoque fide ac 
diligentia positum est, ut in man us hominum quam 
emendatissimi veniant. 


You have daily importuned me with the request 
that I should at length take steps to publish the 
book on the Education of an Orator which I dedicated 
to my friend Marcellus. For my own view was that 
it was not yet ripe for publication. As you know I 
have spent little more than two years on its compo- 
sition, during which time moreover I have been dis- 
tracted by a multitude of other affairs. These two 
years have been devoted not so much to actual writing 
as to the research demanded by a task to which 
practically no limits can be set and to the reading 
of innumerable authors. Further, following the pre- 2 
cept of Horace who in his Art of Poetry deprecates 
hasty publication and urges the would-be author 

" To withhold 
His work till nine long years have passed away," 

I proposed to give them time, in order that the 
ardour of creation might cool and that I might 
revise them with all the consideration of a dispas- 
sionate reader. But if there is such a demand for 3 
their publication as you assert, why then let us 
spread our canvas to the gale and offer up a fervent 
prayer to heaven as w r e put out to sea. But re- 
member I rely on your loyal care to see that they 
reach the public in as correct a form as possible. 




POST impetratam studiis meis quietem, quae per 
viginti annos erudiendis iuvenibus impenderam, cum 
a me quidam familiariter postularent, ut aliquid de 
ratione dicendi componerem, diu sum equidem reluc- 
tatus, quod auctores utriusque linguae clarissimos non 
ignorabam multa, quae ad hoc opus pertinerent, 

2 diligentissime scripta posteris reliquisse. Sed qua 
ego ex causa faciliorem mihi veniam meae depre- 
cationis arbitrabar fore, hac accendebantur illi magis, 
quod inter diversas opiniones priorum et quasdam 
etiam inter se contrarias difficilis esset electio ; ut 
mihi si non inveniendi nova at certe iudicandi de 
veteribus iniungcre laborem non iniuste viderentur. 

3 Quamvis autem non tarn me vinceret praestandi, 




HAVING at length, after twenty years devoted to 
the training of the young, obtained leisure for study, 
I was asked by certain of my friends to write 
something on the art of speaking. For a long time I 
resisted their entreaties, since I was well aware that 
some of the most distinguished Greek and Roman 
writers had bequeathed to posterity a number of 
works dealing with this subject, to the composition 
of which they had devoted the utmost care. This 
seemed to me to be an admirable excuse for my re- 
fusal, but served merely to increase their enthusiasm. 
They urged that previous writers on the subject had 
expressed different and at times contradictory 
opinions, between which it was very difficult to 
choose. They thought therefore that they were 
justified in imposing on me the task, if not of 
discovering original views, at least of passing definite 
judgment on those expressed by my predecessors. 
I was moved to comply not so much because I 
felt confidence that I was equal to the task, as 


quod exigebatur, fiducia quam negandi verecundia, 
latius se tamen aperiente materia plus quam impone- 
batur oneris sponte suscepi, simul ut pleniore obse- 
quio demererer amantissimos mei, simul ne vulgarem 
viam ingressus alienis demum vestigiis insisterem. 

4 Namceteri fere, qui artem orandi litteris tradiderunt, 
ita sunt exorsi, quasi perfectis omni alio genere 
doctrinae summam in eloquentia rnanum imponer- 
ent, sive contemnentes tanquam parva, quae prius 
discimus, studia, sive non ad suum pertinere officium 
opinati, quando divisae professionum vices essent, 
seu, quod proximum vero, nullam ingenii sperantes 
gratiam circa res etiamsi necessarias procul tamen ab 
ostentatione positas ; ut operura fastigia spectantur, 

5 latent fundamenta. Ego, cum existimem nihil arti 
oratoriae alienum, sine quo fieri non posse oratorem 
fatendum est, nee ad ullius rei summam nisi praece- 
dentibus initiis perveniri, ad minora ilia, sed quae si 
negligas, non sit maioribus locus, demittere me non 
recusabo ; nee aliter, quam si mihi tradatur educan- 
dus orator, studia eius formare ab infantia incipiam. 


BOOK I. PR. 3-5 

because I had a certain compunction about refusing. 
The subject proved more extensive than I had first 
imagined ; but finally I volunteered to shoulder a 
task which was on a far larger scale than that which 
I was originally asked to undertake. I wished on 
the one hand to oblige my very good friends beyond 
their requests, and on the other to avoid the beaten 
track and the necessity of treading where others 
had gone before. For almost all others who have 4 
written on the art of oratory have started with the 
assumption that their readers were perfect in all 
other branches of education and that their own task 
was merely to put the finishing touches to their 
rhetorical training ; this is due to the fact that they 
either despised the preliminary stages of education 
or thought that they were not their concern, since 
the duties of the different branches of education 
are distinct one from another, or else, and this 
is nearer the truth, because they had no hope of 
making a remunerative display of their talent in 
dealing with subjects, which, although necessary, 
are far from being showy : just as in architecture it 
is the superstructure and not the foundations which 
attracts the eye. I on the other hand hold that the 5 
art of oratory includes all that is essential for the 
training of an orator, and that it is impossible to reach 
the summit in any subject unless we have first passed 
through all the elementary stages. I shall not there- 
fore refuse to stoop to the consideration of those 
minor details, neglect of which may result in there 
being no opportunity for more important things, and 
propose to mould the studies of my orator from in- 
fancy, on the assumption that his whole education has 
been entrusted to my charge. This work 1 dedicate G 


6 Quod opus, Marcelle Victori, tibi dicamus ; quem, 
cum amicissimum nobis turn eximio litterarum amore 
flagrantem, non propter haec modo (quamquam sint 
magna) dignissimum hoc mutuae inter nos caritatis 
pignore iudicabamus ; sed quod erudiendo Getae tuo, 
cuius prima aetas manifestum iam ingenii lumen 
ostendit, non inutiles fore libri videbantur, quos ab 
ipsis dicendi velut incunabulis, per omnes, quae 
modo aliquid oratori futuro conferant, artis ad sum- 

7 mam eius opens perducere destinabamus ; atque eo 
magis, quod duo iam sub nomine meo libri fereban- 
tur artis rhetoricae neque editi a me neque in hoc 
comparati. Namque alterum sermonem per biduum 
habitum pueri, quibus id praestabatur, exceperant ; 
alterum pluribus sane diebus, quantum notando con- 
sequi potuerant, interceptum boni iuvenes, sed 
nimium amantes mei, temerario editionis honore 

8 vulgaverant. Quare in his quoque libris erunt eadem 
aliqua, multa mutata, plurima adiecta, omnia vero 
compositiora et, quantum nos poterimus, elaborata. 

9 Oratorem autem instituimus ilium perfectum, qui 
esse nisi vir bonus non potest ; ideoque non dicendi 

modo eximiam in eo facultatem sed omnes animi 

BOOK I. PR. 6-9 

to you, Marcellus Victorius. You have been the truest 
of friends to me and you have shown a passionate 
enthusiasm for literature. But good as these reasons 
are, they are not the only reasons that lead me to 
regard you as especially worthy of such a pledge of 
our mutual affection. There is also the consideration 
that this book should prove of service in the 
education of your son Geta, who, young though he 
is, already shows clear promise of real talent. It has 
been my design to lead my reader from the very 
cradle of speech through all the stages of education 
which can be of any service to our budding orator 
till we have reached the very summit of the art. I 7 
have been all the more desirous of so doing because 
two books on the art of rhetoric are at present 
circulating under my name, although never published 
by me or composed for such a purpose. One is a 
two days' lecture which was taken down by the boys 
who were my audience. The other consists of such 
notes as my good pupils succeeded in taking down 
from a course of lectures on a somewhat more 
extensive scale : I appreciate their kindness, but 
they showed an excess of enthusiasm and a certain 
lack of discretion in doing my utterances the honoui 
of publication. Consequently in the present work 8 
although some passages remain the same, you will 
find many alterations and still more additions, while 
the whole theme will be treated with greater system 
and with as great perfection as lies within my 

My aim, then, is the education of the perfect 9 
orator. The first essential for such an one is that he 
should be a good man, and consequently we demand 
of him not merely the possession of exceptional 


10 virtutes exigimus. Neque enim hoc concesserim, 
rationem rectae honestaeque vitae (ut quidam pu- 
taverunt) ad philosophos relegandam, cum vir ille 
vere civilis et publicarum privatarumque rerum 
administrationi accommodatus, qui regere consiliis 
urbes, fundare legibus, emendare iudiciis possit, 

11 non alius sit profecto quam orator. Quare, tametsi 
me fateor usurum quibusdam, quae philosophorum 
libris continentur, tamen ea iure vereque conten- 
derim esse operis nostri proprieque ad artem 

12 oratoriam pertinere. An, si frequentissime de 
iustitia, fortitudine, temperantia ceterisque simili- 
bus disserendum est, adeo ut vix ulla possit causa 
reperiri in quam non aliqua ex his incidat quaestio, 
eaque omnia inventione atque elocutione sunt ex- 
plicanda, dubitabitur, ubicunque vis ingenii et copia 
dicendi postulatur, ibi partes oratoris esse prae- 

13 cipuas? Fueruntque haec, ut Cicero apertissime 
colligit, quemadmodum iuncta natura sic officio 
quoque copulata, ut iidem sapientes atque elo- 
quentes haberentur. Scidit deinde se studium, 
atque inertia factum est, ut artes esse plures vide- 
rentur. Nam ut primum lingua esse coepit in quaestu 
institutumque eloquentiae bonis male uti, curam 

1 de Or. in. 15. 

BOOK I. PR. 9-13 

gifts of speech, but of all the excellences of character 
as well. For I will not admit that the principles of 10 
upright and honourable living should, as some have 
held, be regarded as the peculiar concern of philo- 
sophy. The man who can really play his part as a 
citizen and is capable of meeting the demands both 
of public and private business, the man who can 
guide a state by his counsels, give it a firm basis by 
his legislation and purge its vices by his decisions as 
a judge, is assuredly no other than the orator of our 
quest. Wherefore, although I admit I shall make 11 
use of certain of the principles laid down in philo- 
sophical textbooks, I would insist that such principles 
have a just claim to form part of the subject-matter 
of this work and do actually belong to the art of 
oratory. I shall frequently be compelled to speak of 1. 
such virtues as courage, justice, self-control; in fact 
scarcely a case comes up in which some one of these 
virtues is not involved ; every one of them requires 
illustration and consequently makes a demand on 
the imagination and eloquence of the pleader. I 
ask you then, can there be any doubt that, wherever 
imaginative power and amplitude of diction are re- 
quired, the orator has a specially important part to 
play? These two branches of knowledge w.ere, as 13 
Cicero has clearly shown, 1 so closely united, not 
merely in theory but in practice, that the same men 
were regarded as uniting the qualifications of orator 
and philosopher. Subsequently this single branch 
of study split up into its component parts, and 
thanks to the indolence of its professors was re- 
garded as consisting of several distinct subjects. 
As soon as speaking became a means of livelihood 
and the practice of making an evil use of the 

1 1 


14 morum, qui diserti habebantur, reliquerunt. Ea 
vero destituta infirmioribus ingeniis velut praedae 
fuit. Inde quidam, contempto bene dicendi labore, 
ad formandos animos statuendasque vitae leges 
regress! partem quidem potiorem, si dividi posset, 
retinuerunt ; nomen tamen sibi insolentissimum 
arrogaverunt, ut soli studiosi sapientiae vocarentur, 
quod neque summi imperatores neque in consiliis 
rerum maximarum ac totius administratione rei 
publicae clarissime versati sibi unquarn vindicare 
sunt ausi. Facere enim optima quam promittere 

15 maluerunt. Ac veterum quidem sapientiae professo- 
rum multos et honesta praecepisse et, ut praece- 
perint, etiam vixisse, facile coiicesserim ; nostris 
vero temporibus sub hoc nomine maxima in pler- 
isque vitia latuerunt. Non enim virtute ac studiis, 
ut haberentur philosophi, laborabant, sed vultum et 
tristitiam et dissentientem a ceteris habitum pes- 

16 simis moribus praetendebant. Haec autem, quae 
velut propria philosophiae asseruntur, passim trac- 
tamus omnes. Quis enim non de iusto, aequo ac 
bono, modo non et vir pessimus, loquitur? quis 
non etiam rusticorum aliqua de causis naturalibus 
quaerit ? nam verborum proprietas ac differentia 
omnibus, qui sermonem curae habent, debet esse 


BOOK I. PR. 13-16 

blessings of eloquence came into vogue, those who 
had a reputation for eloquence ceased to study moral 
philosophy, and ethics, thus abandoned by the 14 
orators, became the prey of weaker intellects. As 
a consequence certain persons, disdaining the toil of 
learning to speak well, returned to the task of 
forming character and establishing rules of life and 
kept to themselves what is, if we must make a 
division, the better part of philosophy, but pre- 
sumptuously laid claim to the sole possession of the 
title of philosopher, a distinction which neither the 
greatest generals nor the most famous statesmen 
and administrators have ever dared to claim for them- 
selves. For they preferred the performance to the 
promise of great deeds. I am ready to admit that 15 
many of the old philosophers inculcated the most ex- 
cellent principles and practised what they preached. 
But in our own day the name of philosopher has 
too often been the mask for the worst vices. For 
their attempt has not been to win the name of 
philosopher by virtue and the earnest search for 
wisdom ; instead they have sought to disguise the 
depravity of their characters by the assumption 
of a stern and austere mien accompanied by the 
wearing of a garb differing from that of their fellow 
men. Now as a matter of fact we all of us frequently 16 
handle those themes which philosophy claims for its 
own. Who, short of being an utter villain, does not 
speak of justice, equity and virtue ? Who (and even 
common country-folk are no exception) does not 
make some inquiry into the causes of natural phe- 
nomena ? As for the special uses and distinctions of 
words, they should be a subject of study common to 
all who give any thought to the meaning of language. 



17 communis. Sed ea et sciet optime et eloquetur 
orator ; qui si fuisset aliquando perfectus, non a 
philosophorum scholis virtutis praecepta peterentur. 
Nunc necesse est ad eos aliquando auctores re- 
currere, qui desertarn, ut dixi, partem oratoriae artis, 
meliorem praesertim, occupaverunt, et velut nostrum 
reposcere ; non ut nos illorum utamur inventis, sed 

18 ut illos alienis usos esse doceamus. Sit igitur 
orator vir tails, qualis vere sapiens appellari possit ; 
nee moribus inodo perfectus (nam id mea quidem 
opinione, quanquam sunt qui dissentiant, satis non 
est) sed etiam scientia et omni facultate dicendi, 

19 qualis fortasse nemo adhuc fuerit ; sed non ideo 
minus nobis ad summa tendendum est ; quod fece- 
runt plerique veterum, qui, etsi nondum quemquam 
sapientem repertum putabant, praecepta tamen 

20 sapientiae tradiderunt. Nam est eerte aliquid con- 
summata eloquentia, neque ad earn pervenire natura 
humani ingenii prohibet. Quod si non contingat, 
altius tamen ibunt, qui ad summa nitentur,, quam 
qui, praesumpta desperatione quo velint evadendi, 
protinus circa ima substiterint. 

21 Quo magis impetranda erit venia, si ne minora 
quidem ilia, verum operi, quod instituimus, ne- 
cessaria praeteribo. Nam liber primus ea, quae sunt 

BOOK I. PR. 1 6-2 1 

But it is surely the orator who will have the greatest 17 
mastery of all such departments of knowledge and 
the greatest power to express it in words. Arid if ever 
lie had reached perfection, there would be no need 
to go to the schools of philosophy for the precepts of 
virtue. As things stand, it is occasionally necessary 
to have recourse to those authors who have, as I 
said above, usurped the better part of the art of 
oratory after its desertion by the orators and to 
demand back what is ours by right, not with a view 
to appropriating their discoveries, but to show them 
that they have appropriated what in truth belonged 
to others. Let our ideal orator then be such as to is 
have a genuine title to the name of philosopher : it 
is not sufficient that he should be blameless in point 
of character (for I cannot agree with those who hold 
this opinion) : he must also be a thorough master of 
the science and the art of speaking, to an extent 
that perhaps no orator has yet attained. Still we iy 
must none the less follow the ideal, as was done by 
not a few of the ancients, who, though they refused 
to admit that the perfect sage had yet been found, 
none the less handed down precepts of wisdom for 
the use of posterity. Perfect eloquence is assuredly 20 
a reality, which is not beyond the reach of human 
intellect. Even if we fail to reach it, those whose 
aspirations are highest, will attain to greater heights 
than those who abandon themselves to premature 
despair of ever reaching the goal and halt at the 
very foot of the ascent. 

I have therefore all the juster claim to indulgence, 21 
if I refuse to pass by those minor details which are 
none the less essential to my task. My first book 
will be concerned with the education preliminary to 



ante officium rhetoris, continebit. Secundo prima 
apud rhetorem elementa et quae de ipsa rhetorices 

22 substantia quaeruntur tractabimus. Quinque de- 
inceps invention! (nam huic et dispositio subiun- 
gitur), quattuor elocutioni, in cuius partem memoria 
ac pronuntiatio veniunt, dabuntur. Unus accedet, 
in quo nobis orator ipse informandus est, ubi, 1 qui 
mores eius, quae in suscipiendis, discendis, agendis 
causis ratio, quod eloquentiae genus, quis agendi 
debeat esse finis, quae post finem studia, quantum 

23 nostra valebit infirmitas, disseremus. His omnibus 
admiscebitur, ut quisque locus postulabit, docendi 
ratio, quae non eorum modo scientia, quibus solis 
quidam nomen artis dederunt, studiosos instruat et 
(ut sic dixerim) ius ipsum rhetorices interpretetur, 
sed alere facundiam, vires augere eloquentiae possit. 

24 Nam plerumque nudae illae artes nimia subtilitatis 
adfectatione frangunt atque concidunt quidquid est 
in oratione generosius, et omnem sucum ingenii 
bibunt et ossa detegunt : quae ut esse et adstringi 
nervis suis debent, sic corpore operienda sunt. 

25 Ideoque nos non particulam illam, sicut plerique, 
sed quidquid utile ad instituendum oratorem puta- 
bamus, in hos duodecim libros contulimus breviter 

1 ubi . . . disseremus, Spalding : ut. . . disseramus, J\1SS. 



the duties of the teacher of rhetoric. Mj- o t h e edu- 
deal with the rudiments of the schools u^ to say 
and with problems connected with the ess e book 
rhetoric itself. The next five will be 

with Invention, in which I include Arrangemu m _ 2 g 
The four following will be assigned to Eloquence*. 
under which head I include Memory and Delivery. 
Finally there will be one book in which our com- 


plete orator will be delineated ; as far as my feeble 
powers permit, I shall discuss his character, the 
rules which should guide him in undertaking, 
studying and pleading cases, the style of his elo- 
quence, the time at which he should cease to plead 
cases and the studies to which he should devote 
himself after such cessation. In the course of these 23 
discussions I shall deal in its proper place with 
the method of teaching by which students will 
acquire not merely a knowledge of those things 
to which the name of art is restricted by certain 
theorists, and will not only come to understand the 
laws of rhetoric, but will acquire that which will 
increase their powers of speech and nourish their 
eloquence. For as a rule the result of the dry text- 24 
books on the art of rhetoric is that by straining 
after excessive subtlety they impair and cripple 
all the nobler elements of style, exhaust the life- 
blood of the imagination and leave but the bare 
bones, which, while it is right and necessary that 
they should exist and be bound each to each by 
their respective ligaments, require a covering of flesh 
as well. I shall therefore avoid the precedent set 25 
by the majority and shall not restrict myself to this 
narrow conception of my theme, but shall include in 
my twelve books a brief demonstration of everything 



omnia demonstraturi. Nam si quantum de quaque 
re dici potest persequamur, finis operis non repe- 

26 Illud tamen in primis testandum est, nihil prae- 
cepta atque artes valere nisi adiuvante natura. 
Quapropter ei, cui deerit ingenium, non magis haec 
scripta sint quam de agrorum cultu sterilibus terris. 

27 Sunt et alia ingenita cuique adiumenta, vox, latus 
patiens laboris, valetudo, constantia, decor; quae 
si modica obtigerunt, possunt ratione ampliari, sed 
nonnunquam ita desunt, ut bona etiam ingenii 
studiique corrumpant ; sicut et haec ipsa sine 
doctore perito, studio pertinaci, scribendi, legendi, 
dicendi multa et continua exercitatione per se nihil 

I. Igitur nato filio pater spem de illo primum 
quam optimam capiat, ita diligentior a principiis 
fiet. Falsa enim est querela, paucissimis hominibus 
vim percipiendi, quae tradantur, esse concessam, 
plerosque vero laborem ac tempora tarditate ingenii 
perdere. Nam contra plures reperias et faciles in 
excogitando et ad discendum promptos. Qm'ppe 
id est homini naturale ; ac sicut aves ad volatum, 
equi ad cursum, ad saevitiam ferae gignuntur ; ita 

BOOK I. PR. 25-1. i 

which may seem likely to contribute to the edu- 
cation of an orator. For if I were to attempt to say 
all that might be said on each subject, the book 
would never be finished. 

There is however one point which I must em- 26 
phasise before I begin, which is this. Without 
natural gifts technical rules are useless. Conse- 
quently the student who is devoid of talent will 
derive no more profit from this work than barren 
soil from a treatise on agriculture. There are, it is 27 
true, other natural aids, such as the possession of a 
good voice and robust lungs, sound health, powers of 
endurance and grace, and if these are possessed only 
to a moderate extent, they may be improved by 
methodical training. In some cases, however, these 
gifts are lacking to such an extent that their absence 
is fatal to all such advantages as talent and study 
can confer, while, similarly, they are of no profit in 
themselves unless cultivated by skilful teaching, per- 
sistent study and continuous and extensive practice 
in writing, reading and speaking. 

I. I would, therefore, have a father conceive the 
highest hopes of his son from the moment of his 
birth. If he does so, he will be more careful about 
the groundwork of his education. For there is 
absolutely no foundation for the complaint that but 
few men have the power to take in the knowledge 
that is imparted to them, and that the majority are 
so slow of understanding that education is a waste 
of time and labour. On the contrary you will find 
that most are quick to reason and ready to learn. 
Reasoning comes as naturally to man as flying to 
birds, speed to horses and ferocity to beasts of prey : 



nobis propria est mentis agitatio atque sollertia, 

2 unde origo animi caelestis creditur. Hebetes vero 
et indociles non magis secundum naturam homines 
eduntur quam prodigiosa corpora et monstris in- 
signia, sed hi pauci admodum fuerunt. Argu- 
mentum quod in pueris elucet spes plurimorum, 
quae cum emoritur aetate, manifestum est, non 
naturam defecisse sed curam. Praestat tamen in- 

3 genio alius alium. Concede ; sed plus efficiet aut 
minus ; nemo reperitur, qui sit studio nihil con- 
secutus. Hoc qui perviderit, protinus ut erit parens 
factus, acrem quam maxime curam spei futuri ora- 
toris impendat. 

4 Ante omnia ne sit vitiosus sermo nutricibus, quas 
si fieri posset sapientes Chrysippus optavit, certe 
quantum res pateretur optimas eligi voluit. Et 
morum quidem in his haud dubie prior ratio est, 

5 recte tamen etiam loquantur. Has primum audiet 
puer, harum verba effingere imitando conabitur. Et 
natura tenacissimi sumus eorum, quae rudibus animis 
percepimus ; ut sapor, quo nova imbuas, durat, nee 
lanarum colores, quibus simplex ille candor mutatus 
est, elui possunt. Et haec ipsa magis pertinaciter 
haerent, quo deteriora sunt. Nam bona facile mu- 
tantur in peius ; num quando in bonum verteris 


BOOK I. i. 1-5 

our minds are endowed by nature with such activity 
and sagacity that the soul is believed to proceed 
from heaven. Those who are dull and unteachable 2 
are as abnormal as prodigious births and monstrosi- 
ties, and are but few in number. A proof of what 
I say is to be found in the fact that boys commonly 
show promise of many accomplishments, and when 
such promise dies away as they grow up, this is 
plainly due not to the failure of natural gifts, but to 
lack of the requisite care. But, it will be urged, 
there are degrees of talent. Undoubtedly, I reply, 3 
and there will be a corresponding variation in actual 
accomplishment: but that there are any who gain 
nothing from education, I absolutely deny. The 
man who shares this conviction, must, as soon as he 
becomes a father, devote the utmost care to foster- 
ing the promise shown by the son whom he destines 
to become an orator. 

Above all see that the child's nurse speaks 4 
correctly. The ideal, according to Chrysippus, 
would be that she should be a philosopher : failing 
that he desired that the best should be chosen, as 
far as possible. No doubt the most important point 
is that they should be of good character : but they 
should speak correctly as well. It is the nurse that 6 
the child first hears, and her words that he will first 
attempt to imitate. And we are by nature most 
tenacious of childish impressions, just as the flavour 
first absorbed by vessels when new persists, and the 
colour imparted by dyes to the primitive whiteness 
of wool is indelible. Further it is the worst 
impressions that are most durable. For, while what 
is good readily deteriorates, you will never turn vice 



vitia ? Non assuescat ergo, ne dura in fans quidem 
est, sermoni qui dediscendus sit. 

6 In parentibus vero quam plurimum esse erudi- 
tionis optaverim, nee de patribus tantum loquor. 
Nam Gracchorum eloquentiae multura contulisse ac- 
cepimus Corneliam matrem, cuius doctissimus sermo 
in posteros quoque est epistolis traditus : et Laelia 
C. filia reddidisse in loquendo paternam elegantiam 
dicitur, et Hortensiae Q. filiae oratio apud Trium- 
viros habita legitur non tantum in sexus honorem. 

7 Nee tamen ii, quibus discere ipsis non contigit, 
minorem curam docendi liberos habeant ; sed sint 
pvopter hoc ipsum ad cetera magis diligentes. 

8 De pueris, inter quos educabitur ille huic spei 
destinatus, idem quod de nutricibus dictum sit. De 
paedagogis hoc amplius, ut aut sint eruditi plene, 
quam primam esse curam velim, aut se non esse 
eruditos sciant. Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum 
aliquid ultra primas litteras progressi falsam sibi 
scientiae persuasionem induerunt. Nam et cedere 
praecipiendi partibus indignantur et velut iure 
quodam potestatis, quo fere hoc hominum genus 
intumescit, imperiosi atque interim saevientes stul- 

1 There is no translation for paedagogus, the slave-tutor. 
"Tutor," "guardian," "governor," and similar terms are 
all misleading. He had the general supervision of the boy, 
escorted him to school and elsewhere, and saw that he 
did not get into mischief, but did not, as a rule, direct his 


BOOK I. i. 5-8 

into virtue. Do not therefore allow the boy to 
become accustomed even in infancy to a style of 
speech which he will subsequently have to unlearn. 

As regards parents, I should like to see them as 6 
highly educated as possible, and I do not restrict this 
remark to fathers alone. We are told that the 
eloquence of the Gracchi owed much to their 
mother Cornelia, whose letters even to-day testify to 
the cultivation of her style. Laelia, the daughter 
of Gaius Laelius, is said to have reproduced the 
elegance of her father's language in her own speech, 
while the oration delivered before the triumvirs by 
Hortensia, the daughter of Quintus Hortensius, is 
still read and not merely as a compliment to her sex. 
And even those who have not had the fortune to 7 
receive a good education should not for that reason 
devote less care to their son's education ; but should 
on the contrary show all the greater diligence in 
other matters where they can be of service to their 

As regards the boys in whose company our budding 8 
orator is to be brought up, I would repeat what 
I have said about nurses. As regards his paedagogi, 1 
I would urge that they should have had a thorough 
education, or if they have not, that they should be 
aware of the fact. There are none worse than 
those, who as soon as they have progressed beyond 
a knowledge of the alphabet delude themselves 
into the belief that they are the possessors of real 
knowledge. For they disdain to stoop to the 
drudgery of teaching, and conceiving that they 
have acquired a certain title to authority a frequent 
source of vanity in such persons become imperious 
or even brutal in instilling a thorough dose of their 



9 titiam suam perdocent. Nee minus error eorum 
nocet moribus ; siquidem Leonides Alexandri paeda- 
gogus, ut a Babylonio Diogene traditur, quibusdam 
eum vitiis imbuit, quae robustum quoque et iam 
maximum regem ab ilia institutione puerili sunt 

10 Si cui multa videor exigere, cogitet oratorem 
institui, rem arduam, etiam cum ei formando nihil 
defuerit ; praeterea plura ac difficiliora superesse. 
Nam et studio perpetuo et praestantissimis praecep- 

11 toribus et plurimis disciplinis opus est. Quapropter 
praecipienda sunt optima ; quae si quis gravabitur, 
non rationi defuerint sed homini. Si tamen non 
continget, quales maxime velim mitrices, pueros, 
paedagogos habere, at unus certe sit assiduus lo- 
quendi non imperitus, qui, si qua erunt ab his 
praesente alumno dicta vitiose, corrigat protinus nee 
insidere illi sinat ; dum tamen intelligatur, id, quod 
prius dixi, bonum esse, hoc remedium. 

12 A sermone Graeco puerum incipere malo, quia 
Latinum, qui pluribus in usu est, vel nobis nolen- 
tibus perbibet, simul quia disciplinis quoque Graecis 

prius instituendus est, unde et nostrae fluxerunt. 

BOOK I. i. 8-12 

own folly. Their misconduct is no less prejudicial 9 
to morals. We are, for instance, told by Diogenes 
of Babylon, that Leonides, Alexander's paedagogus, 
infected his pupil with certain faults, which as a 
result of his education as a boy clung to him even in 
his maturer years when he had become the greatest 
of kings. 

If any of my readers regards me as somewhat 10 
exacting in my demands, I would ask him to reflect 
that it is no easy task to create an orator, even 
though his education be carried out under the most 
favourable circumstances, and that further and 
greater difficulties are still before us. For con- 
tinuous application, the very best of teachers and 
a variety of exercises are necessary. Therefore the 11 
rules which we lay down for the education of our 
pupil must be of the best. If anyone refuses to be 
guided by them, the fault will lie not with the 
method, but with the individual. Still if it should 
prove impossible to secure the ideal nurse, the ideal 
companions, or the ideal paedagogus, I w r ould insist 
that there should be one person af any rate attached 
to the boy who has some knowledge of speaking 
and who will, if any incorrect expression should be 
used by nurse or paedagogus in the presence of 
the child under their charge, at once correct the 
error and prevent its becoming a habit. But it must 
be clearly understood that this is only a remedy, and 
that the ideal course is that indicated above. 

I prefer that a boy should begin with Greek, 12 
because Latin, being in general use, will be picked 
up by him whether we will or no ; while the fact 
that Latin learning is derived from Greek is a 
further reason for his being first instructed in the 



13 Non tamen hoc adeo superstitiose fieri velim, ut diu 
tantum Graece loquatur aut discat, sicut plerisque 
moris est. Hoc enim accidunt et oris plurima vitia 
in peregrinum sonum corrupt! et sermonis ; cui cum 
Graecae figurae assidua consuetudine haeserunt, 
in diversa quoque loquendi ratione pertinacissime 

14 durant. Non longe itaque Latina subsequi debent 
et cito pariter ire. Ita fiet, nt, cum aequali cura 
linguam utramque tueri coeperimus, neutra alteri 

15 Quidam litteris instituendos, qui minores septem 
annis essent, non putaverunt, quod ilia primum aetas 
et intellectum disciplinarum capere et laborem pati 
posset. In qua sententia Hesiodum esse plurimi 
tradunt qui ante grammaticum Aristophanen fuer- 
unt ; nam is primus vTroOr/Kas, in quo libro scriptum 

16 hoc invenitur, negavit esse huius poetae. Sed alii 
quoque auctores, inter quos Eratosthenes, idem 
praeceperunt. Melius autem, qui nullum tempus 
vacare cura volunt, ut Chrysippus. Nam is, quamvis 
nutricibus triennium dederit, tamen ab illis quoque 
iam formandam quam optimis institutis mentem 

17 infantium iudicat. Cur autem non pertineat ad 
litteras aetas, quae ad mores iam pertinet ? Neque 
ignore, toto illo, de quo loquor, tempore vix tantum 
effici, quantum conferre unus postea possit annus ; 

1 Admonitions, a lost didactic poem. Aristophanes of 
Byzantium, 257-180 B.C., the famous Alexandrian critic. 


BOOK I. i. 13-17 

latter. I do not however desire that this principle 13 
should be so superstitiously observed that he should 
for long speak and learn only Greek, as is done in the 
majority of cases. Such a course gives rise to many 
faults of language and accent ; the latter tends to 
acquire a foreign intonation, while the former 
through force of habit becomes impregnated with 
Greek idioms, which persist with extreme obstinacy 
even when we are speaking another tongue. The 14 
study of Latin ought therefore to follow at no great 
distance and in a short time proceed side by side 
with Greek. The result will be that, as soon as we 
begin to give equal attention to both languages, 
neither will prove a hindrance to the other. 

Some hold that boys should not be taught to 15 
read till they are seven years old, that being the 
earliest age at which they can derive profit from 
instruction and endure the strain of learning. Most 
of them attribute this view to Hesiod, at least such 
as lived before the time of Aristophanes the gram- 
marian, who was the first to deny that the Hy- 
polhecae, 1 in which this opinion is expressed, was the 
work of that poet. But other authorities, among 16 
them Eratosthenes, give the same advice. Those 
however who hold that a child's mind should not be 
allowed to lie fallow for a moment are wiser. 
Chrysippus, for instance, though he gives the nurses 
a three years' reign, still holds the formation of 
the child's mind 011 the best principles to be a part 
of their duties. Why, again, since children are 17 
capable of moral training, should they not be 
capable of literary education? I am well aware 
that during the whole period of which I am speaking 
we can expect scarcely the same amount of progress 



sed tamen mihi, qui dissenserunt, videntur non tarn 
discentibus in hac parte quam docentibus pepercisse. 

18 Quid melius alioqui facient, ex quo loqui poterunt? 
Faciant enim aliquid necesse est. Aut cur hoc, 
quantulumcunque est, usque ad septern annos lucrum 
fastidiamus ? Nam certe quamlibet parvura sit, 
quod contulerit aetas prior, maiora tamen aliqua 
discet puer ipso illo anno, quo minora didicisset. 

19 Hoc per singulos prorogatum in summam proficit, 
et quantum in infantia praesumptum est temporis, 
adolescentiae adquiritur. Idem etiam de sequen- 
tibus annis praeceptum sit, ne, quod cuique dis- 
cendum est, sero discere incipiat. Non ergo per- 
damus primum statim tempus, atque eo minus, quod 
initia litterarum sola memoria constant, quae non 
modo iam est in parvis sed turn etiam tenacissima 

20 Nee sum adeo aetatum imprudens, ut instandum 
protinus teneris acerbe putem exigendamque plane 
operam. Nam id in primis cavere oportebit, ne 
studia, qui amare nondum potest, oderit et amari- 
tudinem semel perceptam etiam ultra rudes annos 
reformidet. Lusus hie sit ; et rogetur et laudetur 
et numquam non fecisse se gaudeat, aliquando ipso 
nolente doceatur alius, cui invideat; contendat 


BOOK I. i. 17-20 

that one year will effect afterwards. Still those who 
disagree with me seem in taking this line to spare 
the teacher rather than the pupil. What better is 
occupation can a child have so soon as he is able to 
speak ? And he must be kept occupied somehow or 
other. Or why should we despise the profit to be 
derived before the age of seven, small though it be ? 
For though the knowledge absorbed in the previous 
years may be but little, yet the boy will be learning 
something more advanced during that year, in which 
he would otherwise have been occupied with some- 
thing more elementary. Such progress each sue- 19 
cessive year increases the total, and the time gained 
during childhood is clear profit to the period of 
youth. Further as regards the years which follow 
I must emphasise the importance of learning what 
has to be learnt in good time. Let us not therefore 
waste the earliest years : there is all the less excuse 
for this, since the elements of literary training are 
solely a question of memory, which not only exists 
even in small children, but is specially retentive at 
that age. 

I am not however so blind to differences of age 20 
as to think that the very young should be forced on 
prematurely or given real work to do. Above all 
things we must take care that the child, who is not 
yet old enough to love his studies, does not come to 
hate them and dread the bitterness which he has 
once tasted, even when the years of infancy are 
left behind. His studies must be made an amuse- 
ment : he must be questioned and praised and 
taught to rejoice when he has done well ; sometimes 
too, when he refuses instruction, it should be given 
to some other to excite his envy, at times also he 



interim et saepius vincere se putet ; praemiis etiam, 
quae capit ilia aetas, evocetur. 

21 Parva docemus oratorem instituendum professi, 
sed est sua etiam studiis infantia ; et ut corporum 
mox fortissimorum educatio a lacte cunisque initium 
ducit, ita futurus eloquentissimus edidit aliquando 
vagitum et loqui primum incerta voce temptavit 
et haesit circa formas litterarum. Nee si quid 

22 discere satis non est, ideo nee necesse est. Quodsi 
nemo reprehendit patrem, qui haec non negligenda 
in suo filio putet, cur improbetur, si quis ea, quae 
domi suae recte faceret, in publicum promit ? Atque 
eo magis, quod minora etiam facilius minores 
percipiunt, et ut corpora ad quosdam membrorum 
flexus formari nisi tenera non possunt, sic animos 

23 quoque ad pleraque duriores robur ipsum facit. An 
Philippus Macedonum rex Alexandro filio suo prima 
litterarum elementa tradi ab Aristotele, summo eius 
aetatis philosopho, voluisset, aut ille suscepisset hoc 
officium, si non studiorum initia et a perfectissimo 
quoque optime tractari et pertinere ad summam 


BOOK I. i. 20-23 

must be engaged in competition and should be 
allowed to believe himself successful more often than 
not, while he should be encouraged to do his best by 
such rewards as may appeal to his tender years. 

These instructions may seem but trivialities in 21 
view of the fact that I am professing to describe the 
education of an orator. But studies, like men, have 
their infancy, and as the training of the body which 
is destined to grow to the fulness of strength begins 
while the child is in his cradle and at his mother's 
breast, so even the man who is destined to rise to 
the heights of eloquence was once a squalling babe, 
tried to speak in stammering accents and was 
puzzled by the shapes of letters. Nor does the 
fact that capacity for learning is inadequate, prove 
that it is not necessary to learn anything. No 22 
one blames a father because he thinks that such 
details should on no account be neglected in the 
case of his own son. Why then should he be crit- 
icised who sets down for the benefit of the public 
what he would be right to put into practice in his 
own house ? There is this further reason why he 
should not be blamed. Small children are better 
adapted for taking in small things, and just as the 
body can only be trained to certain flexions of the 
limbs while it is young and supple, so the acquisition 
of strength makes the mind offer greater resistance 
to the acquisition of most subjects of knowledge. 
Would Philip of Macedon have wished that his son 23 
Alexander should be taught the rudiments of letters 
by Aristotle, the greatest philosopher of that age, or 
would the latter have undertaken the task, if he had 
not thought that even the earliest instruction is best 
given by the most perfect teacher and has real 

3 1 


24 credidisset? Fingamus igitur Alexandrum dari 
nobis impositum gremio, dignum tanta cura in- 
fantem (quanquam suus cuique dignus est) : pu- 
deatne me in ipsis statim elementis etiara brevia 
docendi monstrare compendia? 

Neque enim mihi illud saltern placet, quod fieri 
in plurimis video, ut litterarum nomina et contextum 

25 prius quam formas parvuli discant. Obstat hoc 
agnitioni earum non intendentibus mox animum ad 
ipsos ductus, dum antecedentem memoriam se- 
quuntur. Quae causa est praecipientibus, ut etiam, 
cum satis adfixisse eas pueris recto illo quo primum 
scribi solent contextu videntur, retro agant rursus et 
varia permutatione turbent, donee litteras qui in- 
stituuntur facie norint non ordine. Quapropter 
optime sicut hominum pariter et habitus et nomina 

26 edocebuntur. Sed quod in litteris obest, in syllabis 
non nocebit. Non excludo autem, id quod est in- 
ventum l irritandae ad discendum infantiae gratia 
eburneas etiam litterarum formas in lusum offerre ; 
vel si quid aliud, quo magis ilia aetas gaudeat, 
inveniri potest, quod tractare, intueri, nominare 
iucundum sit. 

27 Cum vero iam ductus sequi coeperit, non inutile 
erit eas tabellae quam optime insculpi, ut per illos 

1 inventum, Hcindorf : notura, MSS. 

BOOK I. i. 23-27 

reference to the whole of education ? Let us assume 24 
therefore that Alexander has been confided to our 
charge and that the infant placed in our lap deserves 
no less attention than he though for that matter 
every man's child deserves equal attention. Would 
you be ashamed even in teaching him the alphabet 
to point out some brief rules for his education ? 

At any rate I am not satisfied with the course 
(which I note is usually adopted) of teaching small 
children the names and order of the letters before 
their shapes. Such a practice makes them slow 25 
to recognise the letters, since they do not pay 
attention to their actual shape, preferring to be 
guided by what they have already learned by 
rote. It is for this reason that teachers, when 
they think they have sufficiently familiarised their 
young pupils with the letters written in their 
usual order, reverse that order or rearrange it in 
every kind of combination, until they learn to know 
the letters from their appearance and not from 
the order in which they occur. It will be best 
therefore for children to begin by learning their 
appearance and names just as they do with men. 
The method, however, to which we have objected in 26 
teaching the alphabet, is unobjectionable when 
applied to syllables. 1 quite approve on the other 
hand of a practice which has been devised to 
stimulate children to learn by giving them ivory 
letters to play with, as I do of anything else that 
may be discovered to delight the very young, the 
sight, handling and naming of which is a pleasure. 

As soon as the child has begun to know the 27 
shapes of the various letters, it will be no bad thing 
to have them cut as accurately as possible upon a 



velut sulcos ducatur stilus. Nam neque errabit, 
quemadmodum in ceris (continebitur enim utrinque 
marginibus neque extra praescriptum egredi poterit) 
et celerius ac saepius sequendo certa vestigia fir- 
mabit articulos, neque egebit adiutorio manum suam 

28 manu superimposita regentis. Non est aliena res, 
quae fere ab honestis negligi solet, cura bene ac 
velociter scribendi. Nam cum sit in studiis prae- 
cipuum, quoque solo verus ille profectus et altis 
radicibus nixus paretur, scribere ipsum, tardior stilus 
cogitationem moratur, rudis et confusus intellectu 
caret; unde sequitur alter dictandi, quae trans- 

29 ferenda sunt, labor. Quare cum semper et ubique 
turn praecipue in epistolis secretis et familiaribus 
delectabit ne hoc quidem neglectum reliquisse. 

30 Syllabis nullum compendium est; perdiscendae 
omnes nee, ut fit plerumque, difficillima quaeque 
earum differenda, ut in nominibus scribendis depre- 

31 hendantur. Quin immo ne primae quidem memoriae 
temere credendum ; repetere et diu inculcare fuerit 
utilius, et in lectione quoque non properare ad con- 
tinuandam earn vel accelerandanr, nisi cum inoffensa 
atque indubitata litterarum inter se coniunctio 
suppeditare sine ulla cogitandi saltern mora poterit. 


BOOK I. i. 27-31 

board, so that the pen may be guided along the 
grooves. Thus mistakes such as occur with wax 
tablets will be rendered impossible ; for the pen 
will be confined between the edges of the letters 
and will be prevented from going astray. Further 
by increasing the frequency and speed with which 
they follow these fixed outlines we shall give steadi- 
ness to the fingers, and there will be no need to 
guide the child's hand with our own. The art of 28 
writing well and quickly is not unimportant for our 
purpose, though it is generally disregarded by persons 
of quality. Writing is of the utmost importance 
in the study which we have under consideration and 
by its means alone can true and deeply rooted 
proficiency be obtained. But a sluggish pen delays 
our thoughts, while an unformed and illiterate hand 
cannot be deciphered, a circumstance which ne- 
cessitates another wearisome task, namely the dic- 
tation of what we have written to a copyist. We shall 29 
therefore at all times and in all places, and above all 
when we are writing private letters to our friends, 
find a gratification in the thought that we have not 
neglected even this accomplishment. 

As regards syllables, no short cut is possible : they 30 
must all be learnt, and there is no good in putting 
off learning the most difficult ; this is the general 
practice, but the sole result is bad spelling. Further 31 
we must beware of placing a blind confidence in a 
child's memory. It is better to repeat syllables and 
impress them on the memory and, when he is 
reading, not to press him to read continuously or 
with greater speed, unless indeed the clear and 
obvious sequence of letters can suggest itself without 
its being necessary for the child to stop to think. 



Tune ipsis syllabis verba complecti et his sermonem 

32 connectere incipiat. Incredibile est, quantum morae 
lectioni festinatione adiiciatur. Hinc enim accidit 
dubitatio, intermissio, repetitio plus quam possunt 
audentibus, deinde, cum errarunt, etiam iis quae iam 

33 sciunt diffidentibus. Certa sit ergo in primis lectio, 
deinde coniuncta et diu lentior, donee exercitatione 

34 contingat emendata velocitas. Nam prospicere in 
dextrum (quod omnes praecipiunt) et providere, non 
rationis modo sed usus quoque est ; quoniam se- 
quentia intuenti priora dicenda sunt, et, quod diffi- 
cillimum est, dividenda intentio animi, ut aliud 
voce aliud oculis agatur. Illud non poenitebit 
curasse, cum scribere nomina puer (quemadmodum 
moris est) coeperit, ne hanc operam in vocabulis 

35 vulgaribus et forte occurrentibus perdat. Protinus 
enim potest interpretationem linguae secretions, 
quas Graeci yA.ujcro-as vocant, dum aliud agitur, 
ediscere et inter prima elementa consequi rem 
postea proprium tempus desideraturam. Et quoniam 
circa res adhuc tenues moramur, ii quoque versus, 
qui ad imitationem scribendi proponentur, non 
otiosas velim sententias habeant sed honestum ali- 

36 quid monentes. Prosequitur haec memoria in 
senectutem et impressa animo rudi usque ad mores 
proficiet. Etiam dicta clarorum virorum et electos 


BOOK I. i. 31-36 

The syllables once learnt, let him begin to construct 
words with them and sentences with the words. 
You will hardly believe how much reading is delayed 32 
by undue haste. If the child attempts more than 
his powers allow, the inevitable result is hesitation, 
interruption and repetition, and the mistakes which 
he makes merely lead him to lose confidence in what 
he already knows. Reading must therefore first be 33 
sure, then connected, while it must be kept slow for 
a considerable time, until practice brings speed 
unaccompanied by error. For to look to the right, 34 
which is regularly taught, and to look ahead de- 
pends not so much on precept as on practice ; since 
it is necessary to keep the eyes on what follows 
while reading out what precedes, with the result- 
ing difficulty that the attention of the mind must 
be divided, the eyes and voice being differently en- 
gaged. It will be found worth while, when the boy 
begins to write out words in accordance with the 
usual practice, to see that he does not waste his 
labour in writing out common words of everyday 
occurrence. He can readily learn the explanations 35 
or glosses, as the Greeks call them, of the more 
obscure words by the way and, while he is still en- 
gaged on the first rudiments, acquire what would 
otherwise demand special time to be devoted to it. 
And as we are still discussing minor details, I would 
urge that the lines, which he is set to copy, should 
not express thoughts of no significance, but convey 
some sound moral lesson. He will remember such 36 
aphorisms even when he is an old man, and the im- 
pression made upon his unformed mind will contribute 
to the formation of his character. He may also be 
entertained by learning the sayings of famous men 



ex poetis maxime (namque eorum cognitio parvis 
gratior est) locos ediscere inter lusum licet. Nam 
et maxime necessaria est oratori (sicut suo loco 
dicam) memoria, et ea praecipue firmatur atque 
alitur exercitatione, et in his, de quibus mine 
loquimur, aetatibus, quae nihildum ipsae generare 
ex se queunt, prope sola est, quae iuvari cura do- 
37 centium possit. Non alienum fuerit exigere ab his 
aetatibus, quo sit absolutius os et expressior sermo, 
ut nomina quaedam versusque adfectatae difficultatis 
ex pluribus et asperrime coeuntibus inter se syllabis 
catenates et velut confragosos quain citatissime 
volvant ; ^a\ivol Graece vocantur. Res modica 
dictu, qua tamen omissa multa linguae vitia, nisi 
primis eximuntur annis, inemendabili in posterum 
pravitate durantur. 

II. Sed nobis iam paulatim adcrescere puer et 
exire de gremio et discere serio incipiat. Hoc igitur 
potissimum loco tractanda quaestio est, utiliusne 
sit domi atque intra privates parietes studentem 
continere an frequentiae scholarum et velut public-is 
2 praeceptoribus tradere. Quod quidem cum iis, a 
quibus clarissimarum civitatium mores sunt instituti, 
turn eminentissimis auctoribus video placuisse. Non 
est tamen dissimulandum, esse nonnullos, qui ab hoc 
prope publico more privata quadam persuasione 
dissentiant. Hi duas praecipue rationes sequi vi- 
dentur : unam, quod moribus magis consulant fu- 
giendo turbam hominum eius aetatis, quae sit ad 


BOOK I. i. 36-11. 2 

and above all selections from the poets, poetry being 
more attractive to children. For memory is most ne- 
cessary to an orator, as I shall point out in its proper 
place, and there is nothing like practice for strength- 
ening and developing it. And at the tender age 
of which we are now speaking, when originality is 
impossible, memory is almost the only faculty which 
can be developed by the teacher. It will be worth 37 
while, by way of improving the child's pronunciation 
and distinctness of utterance, to make him rattle 
off a selection of names and lines of studied difficulty: 
they should be formed of a number of syllables 
which go ill together and should be harsh and 
rugged in sound : the Greeks call them " gags." 
This sounds a trifling matter, but its omission will 
result in numerous faults of pronunciation, which, 
unless removed in early years, will become a perverse 
and incurable habit and persist through life. 

II. But the time has come for the boy to grow up 
little by little, to leave the nursery and tackle his 
studies in good earnest. This therefore is the place 
to discuss the question as to whether it is better to 
have him educated privately at home or hand him 
over to some large school and those whom I may 
call public instructors. The latter course has, I 2 
know, won the approval of most eminent authorities 
and of those who have formed the national character 
of the most famous states. It would, however, be folly 
to shut our eyes to the fact that there are some who 
disagree with this preference for public education 
owing to a certain prejudice in favour of private 
tuition. These persons seem to be guided in the 
main by two principles. In the interests of morality 
they would avoid the society of a number of human 



vitia maxima prona, unde causas turpium factorum 
saepe extitisse utinam falso iactaretur ; alteram, 
quod, quisquis futurus est ille praeceptor, liberalius 
tempora sua impensurus uni videtur, quam si eadem 

3 in plures partiatur. Prior causa prorsus gravis. 
Nam si studiis quidem scholas prodesse, moribus 
autem nocere constaret, potior mihi ratio vivendi 
honeste quam vel optima dicendi videretur. Sed 
mea quidem sententia iuncta ista atque indiscreta 
sunt. Neque enim esse oratorem nisi bonum virum 
iudico, et fieri etiamsi potest nolo. De hac re 
igitur prius. 

4 Corrumpi mores in scholis putant ; nam et cor- 
rumpuntur interim, sed domi quoque, et sunt multa 
eius rei exempla tarn hercule quam conservatae 
sanctissime utrobique opinionis. Natura cuiusque 
totum curaque distat. Da mentem ad peiora fa- 
cilein, da negligentiam formandi custodiendique in 
aetate prima pudoris : non minorem flagitiis occa- 
sionem secreta praebuerint. Nam et potest turpis 
esse domesticus ille praeceptor, nee tutior inter 
servos malos quam ingenues parum modestos con- 

5 versatio est. At si bona ipsius indoles, si non caeca 
ac sopita parentum socordia est, et praeceptorem 
eligere sanctissimum quemque (cuius rei praecipua 


BOOK I. ii. 2-5 

beings at an age that is specially liable to acquire 
serious faults : I only wish I could deny the truth of 
the view that such education has often been the 
cause of the most discreditable actions. Secondly 
they hold that whoever is to be the boy's teacher, he 
will devote his time more generously to one pupil 
than if he has to divide it among several. The first 3 
reason certainly deserves serious consideration. If 
it were proved that schools, while advantageous 
to study, are prejudicial to morality, I should give 
my vote for virtuous living in preference to even 
supreme excellence of speaking. But in my opinion 
the two are inseparable. I hold that no one can be 
a true orator unless he is also a good man and, 
even if he could be, I would not have it so. I will 
therefore deal with this point first. 

It is held that schools corrupt the morals. It is 4 
true that this is sometimes the case. But morals 
may be corrupted at home as well. There are 
numerous instances of both, as there are also of 
the preservation of a good reputation under either 
circumstance. The nature of the individual boy 
and the care devoted to his education make all the 
difference. Given a natural bent toward evil or 
negligence in developing and watching over modest 
behaviour in early years, privacy will provide equal 
opportunity for sin. The teacher employed at 
home may be of bad character, and there is just as 
much danger in associating with bad slaves as there 
is with immodest companions of good birth. On the 5 
other hand if the natural bent be towards virtue, 
and parents are not afflicted with a blind and torpid 
indifference, it is possible to choose a teacher of the 
highest character (and those who are wise will make 


prudentibus cura est) et disciplinary quae maxima 
severa fuerit, licet, et nihilominus amicum gravem 
virum aut fidelem libertum lateri filii sui adiungere, 
cuius assiduus comitatus etiam illos meliores faciat, 
qui timebantur. 

6 Facile erat huius metus remedium. Utinam 
liberorum nostrorum mores non ipsi perderemus. 
Infantiam statim deliciis solvimus. Mollis ilia 
educatio, quam indulgentiam vocamus, nervos omnes 
mentis et corporis frangit. Quid non adultus con- 
cupiscet, qui in purpuris repit? Nondum prima 
verba exprimit, iam coccum intelligit, iam con- 
chylium poscit Ante palatum eorum quam os 

7 instituimus. In lecticis crescunt ; si terram at- 
tigerint, e manibus utrinque sustinentium pendent. 
Gaudemus, si quid licentius dixerint: verba ne 
Alexandrinis quidem permittenda deliciis risu et 
osculo excipimus. Nee mirum : nos docuimus, ex 

8 nobis audiunt. Nostras arnicas, nostros concubinos 
vident, omne convivium obscenis canticis strepit, 
pudenda dictu spectantur. Fit ex his consuetudo, 
inde natura. Discunt haec miseri, antequam sciant 
vitia esse ; inde soluti ac fluentes non accipiunt ex 
scholis mala ista sed in scholas adferunt. 

9 Verum in studiis magis vacabit unus uni. Ante 
omnia nihil prohibet esse ilium nescio quern unum 


BOOK I. ii. 5-9 

this their first object), to adopt a method of edu- 
cation of the strictest kind and at the same time to 
attach some respectable man or faithful freed man to 
their son as his friend and guardian, that his un- 
failing companionship may improve the character 
even of those who gave rise to apprehension. 

Yet how easy were the remedy for such fears. 6 
Would that we did not too often ruin our children's 
character ourselves ! We spoil them from the 
cradle. That soft upbringing, which we call kind- 
ness, saps all the sinews both of mind and body. If 
the child crawls on purple, what will he not desire 
when he comes to manhood ? Before he can talk he 
can distinguish scarlet and cries for the very best 
brand of purple. We train their palates before we 
teach their lips to speak. They grow up in litters : 7 
if they set foot to earth, they are supported by the 
hands of attendants on either side. We rejoice if 
they say something over-free, and words which we 
should not tolerate from the lips even of an Alexan- 
drian page are greeted with laughter and a kiss. 
We have no right to be surprised. It was we that 
taught them : they hear us use such words, they see 8 
our mistresses and minions ; every dinner party is 
loud with foul songs, and things are presented to 
their eyes of which we should blush to speak. 
Hence springs habit, and habit in time becomes 
second nature. The poor children learn these things 
before they know them to be wrong. They become 
luxurious and effeminate, and far from acquiring 
such vices at schools, introduce them themselves. 

I now turn to the objection that one master can 9 
give more attention to one pupil. In the first place 
there is nothing to prevent the principle of " one 



etiam cum eo, qui in scholis eruditur. Sed etiamsi 
iungi utrumque non posset, lumen tamen illud 
conventus honestissimi tenebris ac solitudini praetu- 
lissem. Nam optimus quisque praeceptor frequentia 

10 gaudet ac maiore se theatre dignum putat. At 
fere minores ex conscientia suae infirmitatis haerere 
singulis et officio fungi quodammodo paedagogorum 
non indignantur. 

11 Sed praestat alicui vel gratia vel pecunia vel 
amicitia, ut doctissimum atque incomparabilem 
magistrum domi habeat : num tamen ille totum 
in uno diem consumpturus est? aut potest esse 
ulla tarn perpetua discentis intentio, quae non 
ut visus oculorum obtutu continuo fatigetur ? cum 
praesertim multo plus secreti temporis studia 

12 desiderent. Neque enim scribenti, ediscenti, cogi- 
tanti praeceptor adsistit, quorum aliquid agenti- 
bus cuiuscunque interventus impedimento est. 
Lectio quoque non omnis nee semper praeeunte 
vel interpretante eget. Quando enim tot auc- 
torum notitia contingeret? Modicum ergo tempus 
est, quo in totum diem velut opus ordinetur, 
ideoque per plures ire possunt etiam quae singulis 

13 tradenda sunt. Pleraque vero hanc condicionem 
habent, ut eadem voce ad omnes simul perferantur. 
Taceo de partitionibus et declamationibus rhetorum, 


BOOK I. 11. 9-13 

teacher, one boy " being combined with school 
education. And even if such a combination should 
prove impossible, I should still prefer the broad 
daylight of a respectable school to the solitude and 
obscurity of a private education. For all the best 
teachers pride themselves on having a large number 
of pupils and think themselves worthy of a bigger 
audience. On the other hand in the case of in- 10 
ferior teachers a consciousness of their own defects 
not seldom reconciles them to being attached to a 
single pupil and playing the part for it amounts to 
little more of a mere paedagogus, 

But let us assume that influence, money or friend- 11 
ship succeed in securing a paragon of learning to 
teach the boy at home. Will he be able to devote 
the whole day to one pupil ? Or can we demand 
such continuous attention on the part of the learner ? 
The mind is as easily tired as the eye, if given no 
relaxation. Moreover by far the larger proportion 
of the learner's time ought to be devoted to private 
study. The teacher does not stand over him while 12 
he is writing or thinking or learning by heart. While 
he is so occupied the intervention of anyone, be he 
who he may, is a hindrance. Further, not all read- 
ing requires to be first read aloud or interpreted by 
a master. If it did, how would the boy ever become 
acquainted with all the authors required of him ? A 
small time only is required to give purpose and 
direction to the day's work, and consequently 
individual instruction can be given to more than one 
pupil. There are moreover a large number of 13 
subjects in which it is desirable that instruction 
should be given to all the pupils simultaneously. 
I say nothing of the analyses and declamations of 



quibus certe quantuscunque numerus adhibeatur, 

14 tamen unusquisque tot inn feret. Non enim vox 
ilia praeceptoris ut cena minus pluribus sufficit, sed 
ut sol universis idem lucis calorisque largitur. Gram- 
maticus quoque si de loquendi ratione disserat, si 
quaestiones explicet, historias exponat, poemata 

15 enarret, tot ilia discent quot audient. At enim 
emendationi praelectionique numerus obstat. Sit 
incommodum, (nam quid fere undique placet ?) mox 
illud comparabimus commodis. 

Nee ego tamen eo mitti puerum volo, ubi negli- 
gatur. Sed neque praeceptor bonus maiore se turba, 
quam ut sustinere earn possit, oneraverit ; et in 
primis ea habenda cura est, ut is omni modo fiat nobis 
familiariter amicus, nee officium in docendo spectet 

16 sed adfectum. Ita nunquam erimus in turba. Nee 
sane quisquam litteris saltern leviter imbutus eum, 
in quo studium ingeniumque perspexerit, non in 
suam quoque gloriam peculiariter fovebit. Sed ut 
fugiendae sint magnae scholae (cui ne ipsi quidem 
rei adsentior, si ad aliquem merito concurritur), non 
tamen hoc eo valet, ut fugiendae sint ornnino 
scholae. Aliud est enim vitare eas, aliud eligere. 

17 Et si refutavimus quae contra dicuntur, iam 


BOOK I. n. 13-17 

the professors of rhetoric : in such cases there is no 
limit to the number of the audience, as each in- 
dividual pupil will in any case receive full value. 
The voice of a lecturer is not like a dinner which 14 
will only suffice for a limited number ; it is like the 
sun which distributes the same quantity of light and 
heat to all of us. So too with the teacher of 
literature. Whether he speak of style or expound 
disputed passages, explain stories or paraphrase 
poems, everyone who hears him will profit by his 
teaching. But, it will be urged, a large class is 15 
unsuitable for the correction of faults or for explana- 
tion. It may be inconvenient : one cannot hope for 
absolute perfection ; but 1 shall shortly contrast the 
inconvenience with the obvious advantages. 

Still I do not wish a boy to be sent where he will 
be neglected. But a good teacher will not burden 
himself with a larger number of pupils than he can 
manage, and it is further of the very first im- 
portance that he should be on friendly and intimate 
terms with us and make his teaching not a duty 
but a labour of love. Then there will never be 
any question of being swamped by the number of 
our fellow-learners. Moreover any teacher who has 16 
the least tincture of literary culture will devote 
special attention to any boy who shows signs of 
industry and talent; for such a pupil will redound 
to his own credit. But even if large schools are to 
be avoided, a proposition from which I must dissent 
if the size be due to the excellence of the teacher, 
it does not follow that all schools are to be avoided. 
It is one thing to avoid them, another to select the 

Having refuted these objections, let me now 17 



18 explicemus, quid ipsi sequamur. Ante omnia 
futurus orator, cui in maxima celebritate et in media 
rei publicae luce vivendum est, adsuescat iam a 
tenero non reformidare homines neque ilia solitaria 
et velut umbratica vita pallescere. Excitanda mens 
et adtollenda semper est, quae in eiusmodi secretis 
aut languescit et quendam velut in opaco situm 
ducit, aut contra tumescit inani persuasione ; necesse 
est enim nimium tribuat sibi, qui se nemini com- 

19 parat. Deinde cum proferenda sunt studia, caligat 
in sole et omnia nova offendit, ut qui solus didicerit 

20 quod inter multos faciendum ebt. Mitto amicitias, 
quae ad senectutem usque firmissime durant religiosa 
quadam necessitudine imbutae. Neque enim est 
sanctius sacris iisdem quam studiis initiari. Sensum 
ipsum, qui communis dicitur, ubi discet, cum se a 
congressu, qui non hominibus solum sed mutis 

21 quoque animalibus naturalis est, segregarit ? Adde 
quod domi ea sola discere potest, quae ipsi praeci- 
pientur, in schola etiam quae aliis. Audiet multa 
cotidie probari, multa corrigi ; proderit alicuius 
obiurgata desidia, proderit laudata industria, ex- 

22 citabitur laude aemulatio, turpe ducet cedere pari, 


BOOK I. ii. 17-22 

explain my own views. It is above all things ne- 18 
cessary that our future orator, who will have to live 
in the utmost publicity and in the broad daylight of 
public life, should become accustomed from his 
childhood to move in societv without fear and 


habituated to a life far removed from that of the 
pale student, the solitary and recluse. His mind 
requires constant stimulus and excitement, whereas 
retirement such as has just been mentioned induces 
languor and the mind becomes mildewed like things 
that are left in the dark, or else flies to the opposite 
extreme and becomes puffed up with empty conceit ; 
for he who has no standard of comparison by which 
to judge his own powers will necessarily rate them 
too high. Again when the fruits of his study have 19 
to be displayed to the public gaze, our recluse is 
blinded by the sun's glare, and finds everything new 
and unfamiliar, for though he has learnt what is re- 
quired to be done in public, his learning is but the 
theory of a hermit. I say nothing of friendships 20 
which endure unbroken to old age having acquired 
the binding force of a sacred duty : for initiation 
in the same studies has all the sanctity of initiation 
in the same mysteries of religion. And where shall 
he acquire that instinct which we call common 
feeling, if he secludes himself from that intercourse 

c* * 

which is natural not merely to mankind but even to 
dumb animals? Further, at home he can only learn 21 
what is taught to himself, while at school he will 
learn what is taught others as well. He will hear 
many merits praised and many faults corrected every 
day : he will derive equal profit from hearing the 
indolence of a comrade rebuked or his industry 
commended. Such praise will incite him to emu- 22 



pulchrum superasse maiores. Accendunt oinnia 
haec animoSj et licet ipsa vitium sit ambitio, frequen- 

23 ter tamen causa virtutum est. Non inutilem scio 
servatum esse a praeceptoribus meis morem, qui, 
cum pueros in classes distribuerant, ordinem dicendi 
secundum vires ingenii dabant ; et ita superiore loco 
quisque declamabat, ut praecedere profectu videbatur. 

24 Huius rei iudicia praebebantur ; ea nobis ingens 
palma, ducere vero classem multo pulcherrimum. 
Nee de hoc semel decretum erat ; tricesimus dies 
reddebat victo certaminis potestatem. Ita nee 
superior successu curam remittebat et dolor victum 

25 ad depellendam ignominiam concitabat. Id nobis 
acriores ad studia dicendi faces subdidisse quara ex- 
hortationem docentium, paedagogoram custodiam,, 
vota parentunij quantum animi mei coniectura colli- 

26 gere possum, contenderim. Sed sicut firmiores in lit- 
teris profectus alit aemulatio, ita incipientibus atque 
adhuc teneris condiscipulorum quam praeceptoris 
iucundior hoc ipso quod facilior imitatio est. Vix 
enim se prima elementa ad spem tollere effingendae, 
quam summam putant, eloquentiae audebunt ; prox- 
ima amplectentur magis, ut vites arboribus applicitae 
inferiores prius apprehendendo ramos in cacumina 


BOOK I. i 22-26 

lation, he will think it a disgrace to be outdone by 
his contemporaries and a distinction to surpass his 
seniors. All such incentives provide a valuable 
stimulus, and though ambition may be a fault in 
itself, it is often the mother of virtues. I remember 23 
that my own masters had a practice which was not 
without advantages. Having distributed the boys 
in classes, they made the order in which they were 
to speak depend on their ability, so that the boy 
who had made most progress in his studies had the 
privilege of declaiming first. The performances 24 
on these occasions w r ere criticised. To win com- 
mendation was a tremendous honour, but the prize 
most eagerly coveted was to be the leader of the 
class. Such a position was not permanent. Once a 
month the defeated competitors were given a fresh 
opportunity of competing for the prize. Conse- 
quently success did not lead the victor to relax his 
efforts, while the vexation caused by defeat served 
as an incentive to wipe out the disgrace. I will 25 
venture to assert that to the best of my memory 
this practice did more to kindle our oratorical am- 
bitions than all the exhortations of our instructors, 
the watchfulness of our paedagogi and the prayers of 
our parents. Further while emulation promotes 26 
progress in the more advanced pupils, beginners who 
are still of tender years derive greater pleasure from 
imitating their comrades than their masters, just 
because it is easier. For children still in the ele- 
mentary stages of education can scarce dare hope to 
reach that complete eloquence which they under- 
stand to be their o;oal : their ambition will not soar 


so high, but they will imitate the vine which has to 
grasp the lower branches of the tree on which it is 


27 evadunt. Quod acleo verum est, ut ipsius etiam 
magistri, si tamen anibitiosis utilia praeferet, hoc 
opus sit, cum adliuc rudia tractabit ingenia, non 
statim onerare infirmitatem discentium, sed tem- 
perare vires suas et ad intellectum audientis 

28 descendere. Nam ut vascula oris angusti super- 
fusam humoris copiam respuunt, sensim autem 
influentibus vel etiam instillatis complentur, sic 
animi puerorum quantum excipere possint videndum 
est. Nam maiora intellectu velut parum apertos 

29 ad percipiendum animos non subibunt. Utile igitur 
habere, quos imitari primum, mox vincere velis. Ita 
paulatim et superiorum spes erit. His adiicio, prae- 
ceptores ipsos non idem mentis ac spiritus in di- 
cendo posse concipere singulis tantum praesentibus 
quod ilia celebritate audientium instinctos. 

30 Maxima enim pars eloquentiae constat anirno. 
Hunc adfici, hunc concipere imagines rerum et trans- 
formari quodammodo ad naturam eorum, de quibus 
loquimur, necesse est. Is porro, quo generosior 
celsiorque est, hoc maioribus velut organis com- 
movetur ; ideoque et laude crescit et impetu augetur 

31 et aliquid magnum agere gaudet. Est quaedam 
tacita dedignatio, vim dicendi tantis comparatam 


BOOK I. ii. 26-31 

trained before it can reach the topmost boughs. So 27 
true is this that it is the master's duty as well, if he 
is engaged on the task of training unformed minds 
and prefers practical utility to a more ambitious 
programme, not to burden his pupils at once with 
tasks to which their strength is unequal, but to curb 
his energies and refrain from talking over the heads 
of his audience. Vessels with narrow mouths will 28 
not receive liquids if too much be poured into them 
at a time, but are easily filled if the liquid is ad- 
mitted in a gentle stream or, it may be, drop by 
drop ; similarly you must consider how much a 
child's mind is capable of receiving : the things 
which are beyond their grasp will not enter their 
minds, which have not opened out sufficiently to 
take them in. It is a good thing therefore that a 29 
boy should have companions whom he will desire 
first to imitate and then to surpass : thus he will be 
led to aspire to higher achievement. I would add 
that the instructors themselves cannot develop the 
same intelligence and energy before a single listener 
as they can when inspired by the presence of a 
numerous audience. 

For eloquence depends in the main on the state 30 
of the mind, which must be moved, conceive images 
and adapt itself to suit the nature of the subject 
which is the theme of speech. Further the loftier 
and the more elevated the mind, the more powerful 
will be the forces which move it : consequently 
praise gives it growth and effort increase, and the 
thought that it is doing something great fills it with 
joy. The duty of stooping to expend that power of 31 
speaking which has been acquired at the cost of such 
effort upon an audience of one gives rise to a silent 



laboribus ad unum auditorem demittere : pudet 
supra modum sermonis attolli. Et sane concipita 
quis mente vel declamantis habitum vel orantis 
vocem, incessum, proimntiationem, ilium denique 
animi et corporis motum, sudorem, ut alia prae- 
teream, et fatigationem, audiente uno : nonne 
quiddam pati furori simile videatur ? Non esset in 
rebus humanis eloquentia, si tanturn cum singulis 

III. Tradito sibi puero docendi peritus ingenium 
eius in primis naturamque perspiciet. Ingenii signum 
in parvis praecipuum memoria est. Eius duplex 
virtus, facile percipere et fideliter continere. Proxi- 
mum imitatio ; nam id quoque est docilis naturae, 
sic tamen, ut ea quae discit effingat, non habitum 
forte et ingressum et si quid in peius notabile est. 

2 Non dabit mi hi spem bonae indolis, qui hoc imi- 
tandi studio petet, ut rideatur. Nam probus quoque 
in primis erit ille vere ingeniosus ; alioqui non peius 
duxerim tardi esse ingenii quam mali. Probus 
autem ab illo segni et iacente plurimum aberit. 

3 Hie meus quae tradentur non difficulter accipiet, 
quaedam etiam interrogabit, sequetur tamen magis 
quam praecurret. Illud ingeniorum velut praecox 
genus non temere unquam pervenit ad frugem. 

4 Hi sunt, qui parva facile faciunt et audacia provecti, 


BOOK I. ii. 31-111. 4 

feeling of disdain, and the teacher is ashamed to 
raise his voice above the ordinary conversational 
level. Imagine the air of a declaimer, or the voice 
of an orator, his gait, his delivery, the movements of 
his body, the emotions of his mind, and, to go no 
further, the fatigue of his exertions, all for the sake 
of one listener ! Would he not seem little less than 
a lunatic? No, there would be no such thing as 
eloquence, if we spoke only with one person at 
a time. 

III. The skilful teacher will make it his first care, 
as soon as a boy is entrusted to him, to ascertain his 
ability and character. The surest indication in 
a child is his power of memory. The character- 
istics of a good memory are twofold : it must be 
quick to take in and faithful to retain impressions 
of what it receives. The indication of next im- 
portance is the power of imitation : for this is a 
sign that the child is teachable : but he must imitate 


merely what he is taught, and must not, for 
example, mimic someone's gait or bearing or de- 
fects. For I have no hope that a child will turn 
out well who loves imitation merely for the purpose 
of raising a laugh. He who is really gifted will also 
above all else be good. For the rest, I regard 
slowness of intellect as preferable to actual bad- 
ness. But a good boy will be quite unlike the 
dullard and the sloth. My ideal pupil will absorb 
instruction with ease and will even ask some 
questions ; but he will follow rather than anticipate 
his teacher. Precocious intellects rarely produce 
sound fruit. By the precocious I mean those who 
perform small tasks with ease and, thus emboldened, 
proceed to display all their little accomplishments 



quidquid illud possunt, statim ostendunt. Possunt 
autem id demum, quod in proximo est ; verba 
continuant, haec vultu interrito, nulla tardati 
verecundia proferunt. Non multum praestant sed 

5 cito. Non subest vera vis nee penitus immissis 
radicibus nititur ; ut, quae summo solo sparsa sunt 
semina, celerius se effundunt, et imitatae spicas 
herbulae inanibus aristis ante messem flavescunt. 
Placent haec annis comparata ; deinde stat pro- 
fectus, admiratio decrescit. 

6 Haec cum animadverterit, perspiciat deinceps, 
quonam modo tractaridus sit discentis animus. Sunt 
quidam, nisi institeris, remissi, quidam imperia in- 
dignantur, quosdam continet metus, quosdam de- 
bilitat, alios continuatio extundit, in aliis plus im- 

7 petus facit. Mihi ille detur puer, quern laus excitet, 
quern gloria iuvet, qui victus fleat. Hie erit alendus 
ambitu, hunc mordebit obiurgatio, hunc honor 
excitabit, in hoc desidiam nunquam verebor. 

8 Danda est tamen omnibus aliqua remissio ; non 
solum quia nulla res est, quae perferre possit con- 
tinuum laborem, atque ea quoque, quae sensu et 
anima carent, ut servare vim suam possint, velut 
quiete alterna retenduntur ; sed quod studium dis- 

9 cendi voluntate, quae cogi non potest, constat. Itaque 


BOOK I. in. 4-9 

without being asked : but their accomplishments are 
only of the most obvious kind : they string words to- 
gether and trot them out boldly and undeterred by 
the slightest sense of modesty. Their actual achieve- 
ment is small, but what they can do they perform with 
ease. They have no real power and what they have 5 
is but of shallow growth : it is as when we cast 
seed on the surface of the soil : it springs up too 
rapidly, the blade apes the loaded ear, and yellows 
ere harvest time, but bears no grain. Such tricks 
please us when we contrast them with the per- 
former's age, but progress soon stops and our ad- 
miration withers away. 

Such indications once noted, the teacher must next 6 
consider what treatment is to be applied to the mind 
of his pupil. There are some boys who are slack, 
unless pressed on ; others again are impatient of 
control : some are amenable to fear, while others are 
paralysed by it : in some cases the mind requires 
continued application to form it, in others this result 
is best obtained by rapid concentration. Give me 
the boy who is spurred on by praise, delighted by 
success and ready to weep over failure. Such an 7 
one must be encouraged by appeals to his ambition ; 
rebuke will bite him to the quick ; honour will be a 
spur, and there is no fear of his proving indolent. 

Still, all our pupils will require some relaxation, 8 
not merely because there is nothing in this world 
that can stand continued strain and even unthinking 
and inanimate objects are unable to maintain their 
strength, unless given intervals of rest, but because 
study depends on the good will of the student, a 
quality that cannot be secured by compulsion. 
Consequently if restored and refreshed by a holiday 9 



et virium plus adferunt ad discendum renovati ac 
recentes et acriorem animum, qui fere necessitatibus 

10 repugnat. Nee me offenderit lusus in pueris ; est 
et hoc signum alacritatis ; neque ilium tristem 
semperque demissum sperare possim erectae circa 
studia mentis fore, cum in hoc quoque maxime 

1 1 naturali aetatibus illis impetu iaceat. Modus tamen 
sit remissionibus, ne aut odium studiorum faciant 
negatae aut otii consuetudinem nimiae. Sunt 
etiam nonnulli acuendis puerorum ingeniis non 
inutiles lusus,, cum positis invicem cuiusque generis 

12 quaestiunculis aemulantur. Mores quoque se inter 
ludendum simplicius detegunt ; modo nulla videatur 
aetas tarn infirma, quae non protinus quid rectum 
pravumque sit discat, turn vel maxime formanda, 
cum simulandi nescia est et praecipientibus facillime 
cedit. Frangas enim citius quam corrigas, quae in 

13 pravum induruerunt. Protinus ergo, ne quid cupide, 
ne quid improbe, ne quid impotenter faciat, mo- 
nendus est puer ; habendumque in animo semper 
illud Vergilianum : 

Adeo in teneris consuescere multum est. 

Caedi vero discentes, quamlibet et receptum sit 
et Chrysippus non improbet, minime velim. Primum, 

14 quia deforme atque servile est et certe, (quod con- 

BOOK I. in. 9-14 

they will bring greater energy to their learning and 
approach their work with greater spirit of a kind 
that will not submit to be driven. 1 approve of play 10 
in the young ; it is a sign of a lively disposition ; nor 
will you ever lead me to believe that a boy who is 
gloomy and in a continual state of depression is ever 
likely to show alertness of mind in his work, lacking 
as he does the impulse most natural to boys of his 
age. Such relaxation must not however be un- 1 1 
limited : otherwise the refusal to give a holiday will 
make boys hate their work, while excessive indul- 
gence will accustom them to idleness. There are 
moreover certain games which have an educational 
value for boys, as for instance when they compete 
in posing each other with all kinds of questions 
which they ask turn and turn about. Games 12 
too reveal character in the most natural way, at 
least that is so if the teacher will bear in mind 
that there is no child so young as to be unable to 
learn to distinguish between right and wrong, and 
that the character is best moulded, when it is still 
guiltless of deceit and most susceptible to instruc- 
tion : for once a bad habit has become engrained, 
it is easier to break than bend. There must be no 13 
delay, then, in warning a boy that his actions must 
be unselfish, honest, self-controlled, and we must 
never forget the words of Virgil, 

" So strong is custom formed in early years." 1 

1 disapprove of flogging, although it is the regular 
custom and meets with the acquiescence of Chry- 
sippus, because in the first place it is a disgraceful 
form of punishment and fit only for slaves, and is in 14 

1 Georg. ii. 272. 



venitj si aetatem mutes), iniuria est ; deinde, quod, 
si cui tarn est mens illiberalis, ut obiurgatione non 
corrigatur, is etiam ad plagas ut pessima quaeque 
mancipia durabitur : postremo, quod ne opus erit 
quidem hac castigatione, si assiduus studiorum 

15 exactor astiterit. Nunc fere negligentia paeda- 
gogorum sic emendari videtur, ut pueri non facere, 
quae recta sunt, cogantur sed cur non fecerint 
puniantur. Denique cum parvulum verberibus 
coegeris, quid iuveni facias, cui nee adhiberi potest 

16 hie metus et maiora discenda sunt ? Adde, quod 
multa vapulantibus dictu deformia et mox vere- 
cundiae futura saepe dolore vel metu acciderunt, 
qui pudor frangit animum et abiicit atque ipsius 

17 lucis fugam et taedium dictat. lam si minor in 
eligendis custodum vel praeceptorum moribus fuit 
cura, pudet dicere, in quae probra nefandi homines 
isto caedendi Jure abutantur, quam det aliis quoque 
nonnunquam occasionem hie miserorum metus. Non 
morabor in parte hac ; nimium est quod intelligitur. 
Quare hoc dixisse satis est ; in aetatem infirmam et 
iniuriae obnoxiam nemini debet nimium licere. 

18 Nunc quibus instituendus sit artibus, qui sic forma- 
bitur, ut fieri possit orator, et quae in quaque aetate 
inchoanda, dicere ingrediar. 

IV. Primus in eo, qui scribendi legendique 


BOOK I. in. i 4 -iv. i 

any case an insult, as you will realise if you imagine 
its infliction at a later age. Secondly if a boy is so 
insensible to instruction that reproof is useless, he 
will, like the worst type of slave, merely become 
hardened to blows. Finally there will be absolutely no 
need of such punishment if the master is a thorough 
disciplinarian. As it is, we try to make amends for If> 
the negligence of the boy's paedagogus, not by 
forcing him to do what is right, but by punishing 
him for not doing what is right. And though you 
may compel a child with blows, what are you 
to do with him when he is a young man no longer 
amenable to such threats and confronted with tasks 
of far greater difficulty? Moreover when children iG 
are beaten, pain or fear frequently have results of 
which it is not pleasant to speak and which are 
likely subsequently to be a source of shame, a shame 
which unnerves and depresses the mind and leads 
the child to shun and loathe the light. Further if in- 17 
adequate care is taken in the choices of respectable 
governors and instructors, I blush to mention the 
shameful abuse which scoundrels sometimes make 
of their right to administer corporal punishment or 
the opportunity not infrequently offered to others 
by the fear thus caused in the victims. I will not 
linger on this subject ; it is more than enough if I 
have made my meaning clear. I will content myself 
with saying that children are helpless and easily 
victimised, and that therefore no one should be given 
unlimited power over them. I will now proceed to 18 
describe the subjects in which the boy must be 
trained, if he is to become an orator, and to indicate 
the age at which each should be commenced. 

IV. As soon as the boy has learned to read and 



adeptus erit facultatem, grammatici est locus. Nee 
refert, de Graeco an de Latino loquar, quanquam 

2 Graecum esse priorem placet. Utrique eadem via 
est. Haec igitur professio, cum brevissime in duas 
partes dividatur, recte loquendi scientiam et poe- 
tarum enarrationem, plus habet in recessu quam 

3 fronte promittit. Nam et scribendi ratio con- 
iuncta cum loquendo est, et enarrationem praecedit 
emendata lectio, et mixtum his omnibus iudicium 
est ; quo quidem ita severe sunt usi veteres gram- 
matici, ut non versus modo censoria quadam virgula 
notare et libros, qui falso viderentur inscripti, tan- 
quam subditos summovere familia permiserint sibi, 
sed auctores alios in ordinem redegerint, alios 

4 omnino exemerint numero. Nee poetas legisse 
satis est : excutiendum omne scriptorum genus 
non propter historias modo sed verba, quae fre- 
quenter ius ab auctoribus sumunt. Turn neque 
citra musicen grammatice potest esse perfecta, cum 
ei de metris rhythmisque dicendum sit, nee, si 
rationem siderum ignoret, poetas intelligat, qui (ut 
alia omittam) totiens ortu occasuque signorum in 
declarandis temporibus utantur ; nee ignara philo- 
sophiae, cum propter plurimos in omnibus fere 
carminibus locos ex intima naturalium quaestionum 
subtilitate repetitos, turn vel propter Empedoclea 
in Graecis, Varronem ac Lucretium in Latinis, qui 

1 grammaticus is the teacher of literature and languages ; 
at times it is necessary to restrict its meaning to "grammar." 


BOOK I. iv. 1-4 

write without difficulty, it is the turn for the teacher 1 
of literature. My words apply equally to Greek and 
Latin masters, though I prefer that a start should 
be made with a Greek : in either case the method 2 
is the same. This profession may be most briefly 
considered under two heads, the art of speaking 
correctly and the interpretation of the poets ; but 
there is more beneath the surface than meets the 
eye. For the art of writing is combined with that of 3 
speaking, and correct reading precedes interpre- 
tation, while in each of these cases criticism has its 
work to perform. The old school of teachers indeed 
carried their criticism so far that they were not 
content with obelising lines or rejecting books whose 
titles they regarded as spurious, as though they 
were expelling a supposititious child from the family 
circle, but also drew up a canon of authors, from 
which some were omitted altogether. Nor is it 4 
sufficient to have read the poets only ; every kind of 
writer must be carefully studied, not merely for the 
subject matter, but for the vocabulary ; for words 
often acquire authority from their use by a particular 
author. Nor can such training be regarded as com- 
plete if it stop short of music, for the teacher of 
literature has to speak of metre and rhythm : nor 
again if he be ignorant of astronomy, can he under- 
stand the poets ; for they, to mention no further points, 
frequently give their indications of time by reference 
to the rising and setting of the stars. Ignorance of 

o o o 

philosophy is an equal drawback, since there are 
numerous passages in almost every poem based on 
the most intricate questions of natural philosophy, 
while among the Greeks we have Empedocles and 
among our own poets Varro and Lucretius, all of 



5 praecepta sapientiae versibus tradiderunt. Elo- 
quentia quoque non mediocri est opus, ut de una- 
quaque earum, quas demonstravimus, rerum dicat 
proprie et copiose. Quo minus sunt ferendi, qui 
hanc artern ut tenuem atque ieiunam cavillantur, 
quae nisi oratoris futuri fundamenta fideliter iecit, 
quidquid superstruxeris, corruet ; iiecessaria pueris, 
iucunda senibus, dulcis secretorum comes et quae 
vel sola in omni studiorum genere plus habeat 
operis quam ostentationis. 

6 Ne quis igitur tanquam parva fastidiat gramma- 
tices elementa, non quia magnae sit operae con- 
sonantes a vocalibus discernere ipsasque eas in 
semivocalium numerum mutarumque partiri, sed 
quia interiora velut sacri huius adeuntibus apparebit 
multa rerum subtilitas, quae non modo acuere in- 
genia puerilia sed exercere altissimam quoque 

7 eruditicnem ac scientiam possit. An cuiuslibet 
auris est exigere litterarum sonos? non hercule 
magis quam nervorum. At grammatici saltern 
omnes in hanc descendent rerum tenuitatem, 
desintne aliquae nobis necessariae litterarum, non 
cum Graeca scribimus (turn enim ab iisdem duas 

8 mutuamur) sed propriae, in Latinis, ut in his seruus 
et uulgus Aeolicum digammon desideratur, et 

1 Y and Z. 

BOOK I. iv 4-8 

whom have expounded their philosophies in verse. 
No small powers of eloquence also are required to 5 
enable the teacher to speak appropriately and 
fluently on the various points which have just been 
mentioned. For this reason those who criticise the 
art of teaching literature as trivial and lacking in 
substance put themselves out of court. Unless the 
foundations of oratory are well and truly laid by 
the teaching of literature, the superstructure will 
collapse. The study of literature is a necessity for 
boys and the delight of old age, the sweet com- 
panion of our privacy and the sole branch of study 
which has more solid substance than display. 

The elementary stages of the teaching of litera- 6 
ture must not therefore be despised as trivial. It is 
of course an easy task to point out the difference 
between vowels and consonants, and to subdivide the 
latter into semivowels and mutes. But as the pupil 
gradually approaches the inner shrine of the sacred 
place, he will come to realise the intricacy of the sub- 
ject, an intricacy calculated not merely to sharpen the 
wits of a boy, but to exercise even the most profound 
knowledge and erudition. It is not every ear that 7 
can appreciate the correct sound of the different 
letters. It is fully as hard as to distinguish the 
different notes in music. But all teachers of litera- 
ture will condescend to such minutiae : they 
will discuss for instance whether certain necessary 
letters are absent from the alphabet, not indeed 
when we are writing Greek words (for then we 
borrow two letters l from them), but in the case of 
genuine Latin words : for example in words such as 8 
seruus and uidgus we feel the lack of the Aeolic 
digamma ; there is also a sound intermediate between 



medius est quidam V et I litterae sonus ; non enim 
sic optimum dicimus ut opimum, et in here neque E 
9 plane neque I auditur ; an rursus aliae redundent, 
praeter notam aspirationis, (quae si necessaria est, 
etiam contrariam sibi poscit) ut K, quae et ipsa 
quoruiidam nominum nota est, et Q, cuius similis 
effectu specieque, nisi quod paulum a nostris obli- 
quatur, Coppa apud Graecos nunc tantum in numero 
manet, et nostrarum ultima, qua tarn carere po- 

10 tuimus quam <// non quaerimus ? Atque etiam in 
ipsis vocalibus grammatici est videre, an aliquas pro 
consonantibus usus acceperit, quia iam sicut etiam 
scribitur et uos ut tuos. 1 At quae ut vocales iun- 
guntur aut unam longam faciunt, ut veteres scrip- 
serunt qui geminatione earum velut apice utebantur, 
autduas; nisi quis putat etiam ex tribus vocalibus 
syllabam fieri, si non aliquae officio consonantium 

11 fungantur. Quaeret hoc etiam, quomodo duabus 
demum vocalibus in se ipsas coeundi natura sit, cum 
consonantium nulla nisi alteram f ran gat. Atqui 
littera I sibi insidit, coniicit enim est ab illo tacit, et 
V T , quomodo nunc scribitur uulgus et scruus. Sciat 
etiam Ciceroni placuisse aiio Maiiamque geminata I 
scribere ; quod si est, etiam iungetur ut consonans. 

1 etiam . . . uos . . . tuos, Ritschl : tarn . . . quos . . . cos, 

1 K Kaeso, Kalendae/Kartliago, Kaput, Kalumnia, etc. 
The <?-sound cau be expressed by c. Koppa (^) as a numeral 


BOOK I. iv. 8-u 

u and i } for we do not pronounce optimum as we do opi- 
mum, while in here the sound is neither exactly e or i. 
Again there is the question whether certain letters 9 
are not superfluous, not to mention the mark of the 
aspirate, to which, if it is required at all, there 
should be a corresponding symbol to indicate the 
opposite : for instance /-, which is also used as an 
abbreviation for certain nouns, and q, which, though 
slanted slightly more by us, resembles both in sound 
and shape the Greek koppa, now used by the Greeks 
solely as a numerical sign 1 : there is also x, the last 
letter of our own alphabet, which we could dispense 
with as easily as with psi. Again the teacher of 10 
literature will have to determine whether certain 
vowels have not been consonantalised. For instance 
iam and etiam are both spelt with an i, uos and tuos 
both with a u. Vowels, however, when joined as 
vowels, either make one long vowel (compare the 
obsolete method of indicating a long vowel by 
doubling it as the equivalent of the circumflex), 
or a diphthong, though some hold that even three 
vowels can form a single syllable ; this however is 
only possible if one or more assume the role of 
consonants. He will also inquire why it is that 11 
there are two vowels which may be repeated, while 
a consonant can only be followed and modified by 
a different consonant. 2 But z can follow i (for 
coniicit is derived from tacit 3 ) : so too does u, wit- 
ness the modern spelling of seruus and uulgus. He 
should also know that Cicero preferred to write 
aiio and Maiiam with a double z ; in that case one 

2 The two vowels are i and u. A consonant cannot be 
duplicated within one syllable. 

3 The derivation is mentioned to show that two z's, not 
one, are found in the second syllable of coniicit. 



12 Quare discat puer, quid in litteris proprium, quid 
commune, quae cum quibus cognatio ; nee miretur, 
cur ex scamno fiat scabillum aut a pinno (quod est 
acutum) securis utrinque habens aciem bipennis ; ne 
illorum sequatur errorem, qui, quia a pennis duabus 
hoc esse nomen existimant, pennas avium dici volunt. 

13 Neque has modo noverit mutationes, quas ad- 
ferunt declinatio aut praepositio, ut secat secuif, cadit 
excidit, caedit excidit, calcal exculcat (et fit a lavando 
lotus et inde rursus inlotus et mille talia), sed quae 
rectis quoque casibus aetate transierunt. Nam ut 
Valesii Fusil in Valerias Fu?*iosque venerunt : ita 
arbos, labos, vapos etiam et clamos ac loses fuerunt. 

14 Atque haec ipsa S littera ab his nominibus exclusa in 
quibusdam ipsa alteri successit, nam mertare atque 
pultare dicebant, quin fordeum faedosque pro as- 
piratione F velut simili littera utentes ; nam contra 
Graeci aspirare F ut < solent, ut pro Fundanio 
Cicero testem, qui primam eius litteram dicere non 

15 possit, irridet. Sed B quoque in locum aliarum 
dedimus aliquando, unde Burrus et Bruges et Belena. 
Nee non eadem fecit ex duello bellum, unde Duelios 

16 quidam dicere Belios ausi. Quid stlocum stlitesque ? 
Quid T litterae cum D quaedam cognatio ? Quare 

1 i.e. of lar<s. a For mersare and pulsare. 
* i.e. Pyrrus, Phryges, Helena. 


BOOK I. iv. 12-16 

of them is consonantalised. A boy therefore must 12 
learn both the peculiarities and the common charac- 
teristics of letters and must know how they are 
related to each other. Nor must he be surprised 
that scabillum is formed from scamnus or that a 
double-edged axe should be called bipen?iis from 
pinrius, " sharp" : for I would not have him fall into 
the same error as those who, supposing this word to 
be derived from bis and pennae, think that it is a 
metaphor from the wings of birds. 

He must not be content with knowing only those 13 
changes introduced by conjugation and prefixes, 
such as secat secuit, cadit excldit, caedit excidit, calcat 
exculcat, to which might be added lotus from lauare 
and again inlotus with a thousand others. He must 
learn as well the changes that time has brought 
about even in nominatives. For just as names like 
Valesius and Fusius have become Valerius and Furius, 
so arbos, labos, vapos and even clamos and lases l 
were the original forms. And this same letter s, 14 
which has disappeared from these words, has itself 
in some cases taken the place of another letter. For 
our ancestors used to say mertare and puttare.* They 
also said fordeum and faedi, using f instead of the 
aspirate as being a kindred letter. For the Greeks 
unlike us aspirate f like their own phi, as Cicero 
bears witness in the pro Fundanio, where he laughs at 
a witness who is unable to pronounce the first letter 
of that name. In some cases again we have substi- 15 
tuted b for other letters, as with Burrus, Bruges, 
and Belena. 3 The same letter too has turned duellum 
into helium, and as a result some have ventured to 
call the Duelii Belli. What of stlocus and stliies* 16 
What of the connexion between t and d, a connexion 



minus mirum, si in vetustis operibus urbis nostrae et 
celebribus tempi is legantur Alexanter et Cassanlra. 
Quid O atque V permutatae invicem, ut Hccoba et 
notrix, Culcides et Pulixena scriberentur, ac, ne in 
Graecis id tantum notetur, dederont ac probaveront ? 
Sic 'OSuoxreu's, quern 'YAuoWo. fecerant Aeolis, ad 

17 Ulixen deductus est. Quid? non E quoque I loco 
fuit? Menerva et lebcr et magesler et Diove Victore 
non Diovi Victori ? Sed mihi locum signare satis est, 
non enim doceo, sed admoneo docturos. Inde in 
syllabas cura transibit, de quibus in orthographia 
pauca adnotabo. 

Turn videbit, ad quern hoc pertinet, quot et quae 
partes orationis ; quanquam de numero parum 

18 convenit. Veteres enim, quorum fuerunt Aristoteles 
quoque atque Theodectes, verba niodo et nomina et 
convinctiones tradiderunt ; videlicet quod in verbis 
vim sermonis, in nominibus materiam (quia alterum 
est quod loquimur, alterum de quo loquimur), in 
convinctionibus autem complexus eorum esse iudi- 
caverunt : quas coniunctiones a plerisque dici scio,, 
sed haec videtur ex 0wSeV/xa> magis propria trans- 

19 latio. Paulatim a philosophis ac maxime Stoicis 
auctus est numerus, ac primum convinctionibus 
articuli adiecti, post praepositiones, nominibus ap- 


BOOK I. iv. 16-19 

which makes it less surprising that on some of 
the older buildings of Rome and certain famous 
temples \ve should find the names Alexanier and 
Cassantra ? What again of the interchange of o 
and u, of which examples may be found in Hecoba, 
notrix, Culcides and Pulixena, or to take purely Latin 
words dederont and probaueront ? So too Odysseus, 
which the Aeolian dialect turned into Ulysseus, has 
been transformed by us into Ulixes. Similarly e in 17 
certain cases held the place that is now occupied 
by i, as in Menerua, leber, magester, and Dioue victore 
in place of Dioui viclori. It is sufficient for me to 
give a mere indication as regards these points, for I 
am not teaching, but merely advising those who 
have got to teach. The next subject to which atten- 
tion must be given is that of syllables, of which I will 
speak briefly, when I come to deal with orthography. 
Following this the teacher concerned will note 
the number and nature of the parts of speech, 
although there is some dispute as to their number. 
Earlier writers, among them Aristotle himself and 18 
Theodectes, hold that there are but three, verbs, 
nouns and convinctions. Their view was that the 
force of language resided in the verbs, and the 
matter in the nouns (for the one is what we speak, 
the other that which we speak about), while the 
duty of the convinctions was to provide a link 
between the nouns and the verbs. I know that 
conjunction is the term in general use. But convinclion 
seems to me to be the more accurate translation of 
the Greek o-wSecr/xoV Gradually the number was 19 
increased by the philosophers, more especially by 
the Stoics : articles were first added to the convinc- 
tions, then prepositions : to nouns appellations were 


pellatio, deinde pronomen, deinde mixtum verbo 
participium, ipsis verbis adverbia. Xoster sermo 
articulos non desiderat, ideoque in alias partes 

20 orationis sparguntur. Sed accedit superioribus inter- 
iectio. Alii tamen ex idoneis dumtaxat auctoribus 
octo partes secuti stint ut Aristarchus et aetate 
nostra Palaemon, qui vocabulum sive appellationem 
nomini subiecerunt tanquam speciem eius. At ii, 
qui aliud nomen aliud vocabulum faciunt, novem. 
Nihilominus fuerunt, qui ipsum adhuc vocabulum 
ab appellatione deducerent,, ut esset vocabulum 
corpus visu tactuque manifestum^ damns, lectus, 
appellatio, cui vel alterum deesset vel utrumque, 
ventus, caelum, deus, virtus. Adiiciebant et assevera- 
tionem ut eheu, et tractationem ut fascialim ; quae 

21 mihi non approbantur. \'ocabulum an appellatio 
dicenda sit poa-qyopia. et subiicienda nomini necne, 
quia parvi refert, liberum opinaturis relinquo. 

22 Nomina declinare et verba in primis pueri sciant, 
neque enim aliter pervenire ad intellectum sequen- 
tium possunt ; quod etiam monere supervacuum 
eratj nisi ambitiosa festinatione plerique a posteri- 
oribus inciperent et, dum ostentare discipulos circa 

] Generally interpreted collective : but see Colson, Class. 
Quart, x. 1, p. 17 ; fa-sciatim = in bundles (from fastis). 


BOOK I. iv. 19-22 

added, then the pronoun and finally the participle, 
which holds a middle position between the verb 
and the noun. To the verb itself was added the 
adverb. Our own language dispenses with the 
articles, which are therefore distributed among the 

' O 

other parts of speech. But interjections must be 20 
added to those already mentioned. Others how- 
ever follow good authority in asserting that there 
are eight parts of speech. Among these I may 
mention Aristarchus and in our own day Palaemon, 
who classified the vocable or appellation as a species 
of the genus noun. Those on the other hand who 
distinguish between the noun and the vocable, make 
nine parts of speech. But yet again there are 
some who differentiate between the vocable and the 
appellation, saying that the vocable indicates concrete 
objects which can be seen and touched, such as a 
" house " or " bed," while an appellation is something 
imperceptible either to sight or touch or to both, 
such as the "wind/' "heaven," or "virtue." They 
added also the asseveration, such as "alas' and the 
derivative 1 such asfasdatim. But of these classifica- 
tions I do not approve. Whether we should trans- 21 
late -rrpocrriyopia. by vocable or appellation, and whether 
it should be regarded as a species of noun, I leave 
to the decision of such as desire to express their 
opinion : it is a matter of no importance. 

Bovs should begin bv learning to decline nouns 22 

* J O 

and conjugate verbs : otherwise they will never be 
able to understand the next subject of study. This 
admonition would be superfluous but for the fact 
that most teachers, misled by a desire to show rapid 
progress, begin with what should really come at the 
end: their passion for displaying their pupils' talents 



23 speciosiora malunt, compendio morarentur. Atqui si 
quis et didicerit satis et (quod non minus deesse 
interim solet) voluerit docere quae didicit, non erit 
contentus traders in nominibus tria genera et quae 

24 sunt duobus omnibusve communia. Nee statim 
diligeiitem putabo, qui promiscua, quae t-rriKoiva. 
dicuntur, ostenderit, in quibus sexus uterque per 
alterum apparet ; aut quae feminina positione mares 
aut neutrali feminas significant, qualia sunt Murena 

25 et Gly cerium. Scrutabitur ille praeceptor acer atque 
subtilis origines nominum, quae ex habitu corporis 
Rufos Longos(\ue. fecerunt ; ubi erit aliud secretius, 
Sullae, Burn, Galbae, Plauti, Pansae, 8cauri taliaque ; 
et ex casu nascentium ; hie Agrippa et Opiter et 
Cordus et Postumus erunt ; et ex iis, quae post natos 
eveniunt, unde Vopiscus. lam Cotlae, Scipiones, 

26 Laenates, Serani sunt ex variis causis. Gentes quo- 
que ac loca et alia multa reperias inter nominum 
causas. In servis iam intercidit illud genus, quod 
ducebatur a domino, unde Marcipores Publiporesque. 
Quaerat etiam, sitne apud Graecos vis quaedam 

1 Sulla = ? spindleshanks (surula). Burrus = red. Galba 
= caterpillar. Plautua = flat-footed. Pansa = splay-footed. 
Scaurus = with swollen ankles. Agrippa = born feet fore- 
most. Opiter = one whose father died while his grandfather 
still lived. Cordus = late-born. Postumus = last-born, or 
born after the father's death. Vopiscus = a twin born alive 


BOOK I. iv. 22-26 

in connexion with the more imposing aspects of 
their work serves but to delay progress and their 
short cut to knowledge merely lengthens the 
journey. And yet a teacher who has acquired 23 
sufficient knowledge himself and is ready to teach 
what he has learned and such readiness is all too 
rare will not be content with stating that nouns 
have three genders or with mentioning those which 
are common to two or all three together. Nor 24 
again shall I be in a hurry to regard it as a proof of 
real diligence,, if he points out that there are irregu- 
lar nouns of the kind called epicene by the Greeks, 
in which one gender implies both, or which in spite 
of being feminine or neuter in form indicate males 
or females respectively, as for instance Muraena 
and Glycerium A really keen and intelligent teacher 25 
will inquire into the origin of names derived from 
physical characteristics, such as Kufns or Longus, 
whenever their meaning is obscure, as in the case of 
8ulla, Burrus, Galba, Plautus, Pansa, Scaurus and the 
like ; of names derived from accidents of birth such 
as Agrippa, Opiter, Cordus and Postumus, and again of 
names given after birth such as Vopiscus. Then there 
are names such as Cotta, Scipio, Laenas or Seranus, 1 
which originated in various ways. It will also be found 26 

^7 J 

that names are frequently derived from races, places 
and many other causes. Further there are obsolete 
slave-names such as Marcipor or Publipor* derived 
from the names of their owners. The teacher must 
also inquire whether there is not room for a sixth 

after the premature birth and death of the other. Scipio = 
staff. Laenas from laena (cloak). Seranus = the sower. 
Cotta uncertain. 

2 i.e. Marcipuer, Pullipuer. 



sexti casus et apud nos quoque septimi. Nam cum 
dico hasta percussi, non utor ablativi natura ; nee, si 

27 idem Graece dicam, dativi. Sed in verbis quoque 
quis est adeo imperitus, ut ignoret genera et 
qualitates et personas et numeros ? Litterarii paene 
ista sunt ludi et trivialis scientiae. lam quosdam ilia 
turbabunt, quae declinationibus non tenentur. Nam 
et quaedam participia an verba an appellationes 
sint, dubitari potest, quia aliud alio loco valent, ut 

28 lectum et sapiens et quaedam verba appellationibus 
similia, ut fraudator, nutritor. lam itur in antiquam 
silvam nonne propriae cuiusdam rationis est? nam 
quod initium eius invenias ? cui simile fletur. Acci- 
pimus aliter, ut panditur interea domus ornnipotentis 
Olympij aliter ut totis usque adeo turbatur agris. Est 
etiam quidam tertius modus, ut urbs habitatur, unde 

29 et campus curritur, mare Jiavigatur. Pransus quoque 
ac potus diversum valet quam indicat. Quid ? quod 
multa verba non totum declinationis ordinem ferunt? 
Quaedam etiam mutantur ut fero in praeterito, 
quaedam tertiae demum personae figura dicuntur ut 

1 lectum maybe ace. of lectus, "bed," or supine or past 
part. pass, of legere, " to read " ; sapiens may be pres. part, 
of sapere, " to know," or an adj. = " wise " ; jraudator and 
nutritor are 2nd and 3rd pers. sing. fut. imper. pass, of 
fraudo and tnitrio. 

2 Aen. vi. 179: "They go into the ancient wood." 


BOOK I. iv. 26-29 

case in Greek and a seventh in Latin. For when I 
say "wounded by a spear/' the case is not a true 
ablative in Latin nor a true dative in Greek. Again 27 
if we turn to verbs, who is so ill-educated as not to 
be familiar with their various kinds and qualities, 
their different persons and numbers. Such sub- 
jects belong to the elementary school and the 
rudiments of knowledge. Some, however, will 
find points undetermined by inflexion somewhat 
perplexing. For there are certain participles, about 
which there may be doubts as to whether they are 
really nouns or verbs, since their meaning varies 
with their use, as for example lectum and sapiens, 
while there are other verbs which resemble nouns, 28 
such Rsjraifdalor and nutritor. 1 Again itur in antiqitam 
silvam 2 is a peculiar usage. For there is no subject 
to serve as a starting point : fletur is a similar example. 
The passive may be used in different ways as for 
instance in 

panditur interea domus omnipote?itis Olympi 3 
and in 

'toils usque adeo turbatur agris.* 

Yet a third usage is found in urbs habitatur, whence 
we get phrases such as campus curritur and mare navi- 
gatur. Pransus and potus 5 have a meaning which does 29 
not correspond to their form. And what of those 
verbs which are only partially conjugated? Some 
(as for instance fero) even suffer an entire change in 
the perfect. Others are used only in the third 

3 Acn. x. 1 : "Meanwhile the house of almighty Olj'mpus 
is opened." 

4 Ed. i. 11 : " There is such confusion in all the fields." 

6 "Having dined," "having drunk." Active in sense, 
passive in form. 



licet, pigct, quaedam simile quiddam patiuntur 
vocabulis quae in adverbium transcunt ? Nam ut 
noctu et diu ita dictu facluque. Sunt enim haec 
quoque verba participialia quidem, non tamen qualia 
dido facto<\u.e. 

V. lam cum omnis oratio tris liabeat virtutes, ut 
emendata, ut dilucida, ut ornata sit (quia dicere 
apte, quod est praecipuum, plerique ornatui subii- 
ciunt), totidem vitia, quae sunt supra dictis con- 
traria, emendate loquendi regulam, quae gram- 

2 malices prior pars est^ examinel. Haec exi^itur 
verbis aut singulis aut pluribus. Verba nunc ge- 
neraliter accipi volo, nam duplex eorurn intellectus 
est ; alter, qui omnia per quae sermo iiectitur 
significat, ut apud Horatium : verbaque provisam rein 
non invita scqiicnlur ; alter, in quo est una pars 
orationis, lego, scribo. Quam vitantes ambigu-itatem 
quidam dicere maluerunl voces, locutiones, dictiones. 

3 Singula sunt aut nostra aut peregrina, aut simplicia 
aut composita, aul propria aut translata, aut usitata 
aut ncta. 

Uni verbo vitium saepius quam virtus inest. 
Licet enim dicamus aliquod proprium, speciosum, 
sublime : nihil tamen horum nisi in complexu lo- 
quendi serieque contingit ; laudamus enim verba 

4 rebus bene accommodata. Sola est, quae notari 


BOOK I. iv. 2 9 -v. 4 

person, such as licet and pi get, while some resemble 
nouns tending to acquire an adverbial meaning ; for 
\ve say dictu and fact u l as we say noclu and din, 
since these words are participial though quite different 
from dicto and facto. 

V. Style has three kinds of excellence, correct- 
ness, lucidity and elegance (for many include the 
all-important quality of appropriateness under the 
heading of elegance). Its faults are likewise three- 
fold, namely the opposites of these excellences. The 
teacher of literature therefore must study the rules 
for correctness of speech, these constituting the 
first part of his art. The observance of these rules 2 
is concerned with either one or more words. I must 
now be understood to use verbinn in its most general 
sense. It has of course two meanings ; the one covers 
all the parts of which language is composed, as in 
the line of Horace : 

"Once supply the thought, 

And words will follow swift as soon as sought ' ; 2 


the other restricts it to a part of speech such as 
lego and scribo. To avoid this ambiguity, some 
authorities prefer the terms voces, locutiojies, dictiones. 
Individual words will either be native or imported, 3 
simple or compound, literal or metaphorical, in 
current use or newly-coined. 

A single word is more likely to be faulty than 
to possess any intrinsic merit. For though we 
may speak of a word as appropriate, distinguished 
or sublime, it can possess none of these properties 
save in relation to connected and consecutive speech ; 
since when we praise words, we do so because they 
suit the matter. There is only one excellence that 4 

1 Supines. a Ars Poetica, 311. 



possit velut vocalitas, quae eu^iorta dicitur ; cuius 
in eo delectus est, ut inter duo, quae idem signi- 
ficant ac tantundem valent, quod melius sonet malis. 

5 Prima barbarismi ac soloecismi foeditas absit. Sed 
qtiia interim excusantur haec vitia aut consuetudine 
aut auctoritate aut vetustate aut denique vicinitate 
virtutum (nam saepe a figuris ea separare difficile 
est), ne qua tarn lubrica observatio fallat, acriter se 
in illud tenue discrimen grammaticus intendat, de 
quo nos latius ibi loquemur, ubi de figuris orationis 

6 tractandum erit. Interim vitium, quod fit in sin- 
gulis verbis, sit barbarismus. Occurrat mihi forsan 
nliquis, quid hie promisso tanti operis dignum ? aut 
quis hoc nescit, alios barbarismos scribendo fieri 
alios loquendo ; quia, quod male scribitur, male 
etiam dici necesse est ; quae vitiose dixeris, non 
utique et scripto peccant illud prius adiectione, 
detractione, immutatione, transmutationCj hoc se- 
cundum divisione, complexione, aspiratione, sono 

7 contineri ? Sed ut parva sint haec, pueri docentur 
adhuc, et grammaticos officii sui commonemus. Ex 
quibus si quis erit plane impolitus et vestibulum 
modo artis huius ingressus, intra haec, quae pro- 

1 cp. 10. 

BOOK I. v. 4-7 

can be isolated for consideration, namely euphony, 
the Greek term for our uocalitas : that is to say that, 
when we are confronted with making a choice 
between two exact synonyms, we must select that 
which sounds best. 

In the first place barbarisms and solecisms must not 6 
be allowed to intrude their offensive presence. These 
blemishes are however pardoned at times, because 
we have become accustomed to them or because they 
have age or authority in their favour or are near akin 
to positive excellences, since it is often difficult to dis- 
tinguish such blemishes from figures of speech. 1 The 
teacher therefore, that such slippery customers may 
not elude detection, must seek to acquire a delicate 
discrimination; but of this I will speak later when 
I come to discuss figures of speech. For the present 6 
I will define barbaris?n as an offence occurring in 
connexion with single words. Some of my readers 
may object that such a topic is beneath the dignity 
of so ambitious a work. But who does not know 
that some barbarisms occur in writing, others in 
speaking ? For although what is incorrect in 
writing will also be incorrect in speech, the converse 
is not necessarily true, inasmuch as mistakes in 


writing are caused by addition or omission, substitu- 
tion or transposition, while mistakes in speaking are 
due to separation or combination of syllables, to 
aspiration or other errors of sound. Trivial as these 7 
points may seem, our bovs are still at school and I 
am reminding their instructors of their duty. And 
if one of our teachers is lacking in education and 
has done no more than set foot in the outer courts 
of his art, he will have to confine himself to the 
rules published in the elementary text-books : the 



fitentium commentariolis vulgata sunt, consistet, 
doctiores multa adiicient, vel hoc primum, quod 

8 barbarismum pluribus modis accipimus. Unum 
gente, quale est, si quis Afrum vel Hispanum 
Latinae oration! nomen inserat, ut ferrum, quo 
rotae vinciimtur, dici solet cant us, quanquam eo 
tanquam recepto utitur Persius ; sicut Catullus 
ploxenum circa Padum invenit, et in oratione La- 
bieni (sive ilia Cornelii Galli est) in Pollionem 
casamo adsectator e Gallia ductuin est; nam inas- 
trucam, quod Sardum est, irridens Cicero ex in- 

9 dustria dixit. Alterum genus barbarismi accipimus, 
quod fit animi natura, ut is, a quo insolenter quid 
aut minaciter aut crudeliter dictum sit, barbare 

10 locutus existimatur. Tertium est illud vitium barba- 
rismi, cuius exempla vulgo sunt plurima, sibi etiam 
quisque fingere potest, ut verbo, cui libebit, adiiciat 
litteram syllabamve vel detrahat, aut aliam pro alia 

11 aut eandem alio quam rectum est loco ponat. Sed 
quidam fere in iactationem eruditionis sumere ilia ex 
poetis solent et auctores quos praelegunt criminan- 
tur. Scire autem debet puer, haec apud scriptores 
carminum aut venia digna aut etiam laude duci, 

12 potiusque ilia docendi erunt minus vulgata. Nam 
duos in uno nomine faciebat barbarismos Tinga 
Placentinus (si reprehendenti Hortensio credimus) 
preculam pro pergula dicens, et immutatione cum 
c pro g uteretur, et transmutatione cum r prae- 
poneret e antecedent!. At in eiusdem vitii gemina- 

BOOK I. v. 7-12 

more learned teacher on the other hand will be in a 
position to go much further : first of all, for example, 
he will point out that there are many different kinds 
of barbarism. One kind is due to race, such as the 8 
insertion of a Spanish or African term ; for instance 
the iron tire of a wheel is called cantus, 1 though 
Persius uses it as established in the Latin language ; 

^j ^> * 

Catullus picked up ploxenum 2 (a box) in the valley 
of the Po, while the author of the in Pollionem, be 
he Labienus or Cornelius Gallus, imported casamo 
from Gaul in the sense of "follower." As for 
mastruca? which is Sardinian fora "rough coat," it 
is introduced by Cicero merely as an object of deri- 
sion. Another kind of barbarism proceeds from the 9 
speaker's temper : for instance, we regard it as bar- 
barous if a speaker use cruel or brutal language. 
A third and very common kind, of which anyone 10 
may fashion examples for himself, consists in the 
addition or omission of a letter or syllable, or in the 
substitution of one for another or in placing one 
where it has no right to be. Some teachers however, 11 
to display their learning, are in the habit of picking 
out examples of barbarism from the poets and attack- 
ing the authors whom they are expounding for 
using such words. A boy should however realize 
that in poets such peculiarities are pardonable or 
even praiseworthy, and should therefore be taught 
less common instances. For Tinga of Placentia, if 12 
we may believe Hortensius who takes him to task for 
it, committed two barbarisms in one word by saying 
precula for pergula : that is to say he substituted c 
for g, and transposed r and e. On the other hand 

1 Pers. v. 71. Usually, though wrongly, spelt oanthus. 

2 Cat. xcvii. 6. * In Or. pro Scauro. 


tione Meltoeoque Fufetioeo T dicens Ennius poetico 

13 iure defenditur. Sed in prosa quoque est quaedam 
iam recepta immutatio. Nam Cicero Canopitarum 
exercitum dicit, ipsi Canobon vocant ; et Trasu- 
mennum pro Tarsumenno multi auctores, etiamsi est 
in eo transmutatio, vindicaverunt. Similiter alia; 
nam sive est adsentior, Sisenna dixit adsentio mul- 
tique et hunc et analogian secuti, sive illud verum 

14 est, haec quoque pars consensu defenditur. At ille 
pexus pinguisque doctor aut illic detractionem aut 
hie adiectionem putabit. Quid quod quaedam, quae 
singula procul dubio vitiosa sunt, iuncta sine repre- 

15 hensione dicuntur ? Nam et dua et ire [et pondo\ 
diversorum generum sunt barbarismi ; at duapondo 
et trepondo usque ad nostram aetatem ab omnibus 

16 dictum est, et recte dici Messala confirmat. Ab- 
surdum forsitan videatur dicere, barbarismum, quod 
est unius vcrbi vitium, fieri per numeros aut genera 
sicut soloecismum : scala tamen et scopa contraque 
hordea et mulsd, licet litterarum mutationem, detrac- 
tionem^ adiectionem habeant, non alio vitiosa sunt, 
quam quod pluralia singulariter et singularia plu- 

1 Mettoeoque Fufetioeo, Skutsch : mettioeo et furetioeo, A t 
the other M&S. giving similar corruptions. 

1 Tlie barbarism lies in the use of the old Greek termina- 
tion -oeo in the genitive. 

a Two and three pounds in weight. 


BOOK I. v. 12-16 

when Ennius writes Mettoeoque Fufetioeo, 1 where 
the barbarism is twice repeated,, he is defended on 
the plea of poetic licence. Substitution is however 1H 
sometimes admitted even in prose, as for instance 
when Cicero speaks of the army of Canopus which is 
locally styled Canobus, while the number of authors 
who have been guilty of transposition in writing 
Trasumennus for Tarsumcnmis has succeeded in stan- 
dardising the error. Similar instances may be quoted. 
If adsentior be regarded as the correct form, we must 
remember that Sisenna said adsentio, and that many 
have followed him on the ground of analogy : on 
the other hand, if adsentio is the correct form, we 
must remember that adsentior has the support of 
current usage. And yet our fat fool, the fashionable 14 
schoolmaster, will regard one of these forms as an 
example of omission or the other as an instance 
of addition. Again there are words which when 
used separately are undoubtedly incorrect, but 
when used in conjunction excite no unfavourable 
comment. For instance dua and ire are barbarisms 15 
and differ in gender, but the words duapondo 
and trepondo 2 have persisted in common parlance 
down to our own day, and Messala shows that the 
practice is correct. It may perhaps seem absurd to 16 
say that a barbarism, which is an error in a single 
word, may be made, like a solecism, by errors in 
connexion with number or gender. But take on the 
one hand scala (stairs) and scopa (which literally 
means a twig, but is used in the sense of broom) 
and on the other hand hordea (barley) and mulsa 
(mead) : here we have substitution, omission and 
addition of letters, but the blemish consists in the 
former case merely in the use of singular for plural, 



raliter effenmtur ; et gladia qui dixerunt, genere 

17 exciderunt. Sed hoc quoque notare contentus sum, 
ne arti culpa quorundam pervicacium perplexae 
videar et ipse quaestionem addidisse. 

Plus exigunt subtilitatis quae accidunt in dicendo 
vitia, quia exempla eorum tradi scripto non possunt, 
nisi cum in versus inciderunt, ut divisio Europai 
Asidi, et ei contrarium vitium, quod crvvaipeo-iv et 
crvvaXoLffrrjv Graeci vocant, nos complexionem di- 
camus, qualis est apud P. Varronem turn le flagrant' 

18 dcicctum fidmme Phaethon. Nam si esset prosa 
oratio, easdem litteras enuntiare veris syllabis 
licebat. Praeterea quae fiunt spatio, sive cum svl- 
laba correpta producitur, ut Ilaliam faio profugns, 
sen longa corripitur, ut unius ob noxam et furias, 
extra carmen non depreliendas ; sed nee in carmine 

19 vitia dicenda sunt. Ilia vero nonnisi aure exi- 
guntur, quae fiunt per sonos ; quanquam per aspira- 
tionem, sive adiicitur vitiose sive detrahitur, apud 
nos potest quaeri an in scripto sit vitium^ si h 
littera est, non nota. Cuius quidem ratio mutata 

20 cum temporibus est saepius. Parcissime ea veteres 
usi etiam in vocalibus,, cum acdos z'/ro.vque dicebant ; 
diu deinde servatum, ne consonaiitibus aspirarent, 

1 Tlie archaic genitive as used by epic poets. 

1 Phaithon for Phaethon. ' Aen. i. 6. * Aen. i. 45. 


BOOK I. v. 16-20 

in the latter of plural for singular. Those on the 
other hand who have used the word gladia are guilty 
of a mistake in gender. I merely mention these as 17 
instances : I do not wish anyone to think that I 
have added a fresh problem to a subject into which 
the obstinacy of pedants has already introduced 

The faults which arise in the course of actual 
speaking require greater penetration on the part 
of the critic, since it is impossible to cite examples 
from writing, except in cases where they occur 
in poetry, as when the diphthong is divided into 
two syllables in Europai and Asiai l ; or when the 
opposite fault occurs, called synaeresis or synaloephe 
by the Greeks and by ourselves : as an 
example I may quote the line of Publius Varro : 

turn te flagranti deieclum fulmine Phaet/ion. 2 

If this were prose, it would be possible to give 1 
the letters their true syllabic value. I may mention 
as further anomalies peculiar to poetry the lengthen- 
ing of a short syllable as in Italiam fato proj'ugus, 3 
or the shortening of a long such as unius ob noxam 
et furias ; 4 but in poetry we cannot label these as 
actual faults. Errors in sound on the other hand 19 
can be detected by the ear alone ; although in Latin, 
as regards the addition or omission of the aspirate, 
the question may be raised whether this is an error 
when it occurs in writing ; for there is some doubt 
whether A is a letter or merely a breathing, practice 
having frequently varied in different ages. Older 20 
authors used it but rarely even before vowels, saying 
aedus or irtus, while its conjunction with consonants 
was for a long time avoided, as in words such as 



ut in Graecis et in triumpis ; erupit brevi tempore 
nimius usus, ut ckoronae, chenturiones, praechones 
adhuc quibusdam in inscriptionibus maneant, qua 

21 de re Catulli nobile epigramma est. Inde durat 
ad nos usque rehemenlcr et comprehendcre et inihi, 
nammehe quoque pro me apud antiques Iragoediarum 
praecipue scriptores in veteribus libris invenimus. 

22 Adhuc difficilior observatio est per tenores (quos 
quidem ab antiquis dictos lonores comperi videlicet 
declinato a Graecis verbo, qui TOJ/OVS dicunt), vel 
accentus, quas Graeci Trpoo-woYas vacant, cum acuta 
et gravis alia pro alia ponuntur, ut in hoc Camillus, 

23 si acuitur prima : aut gravis pro flexa, ut Cethegus, 
et hie prima acuta (nara sic media mutatur) ; aut 
flexa pro gravl, ut Appi l circumducta sequenti, quam 
ex duabus syllabis in unam cogentes et deinde 

24 flectentes dupliciter peccant. Sed id saepius in 
Graecis nominibus accidit, ut Atrei, quern nobis 
iuvenibus doctissimi senes acuta prima dicere sole- 
bant, ut necessario secunda gravis esset, item Nerei 
TVraque. Haec de accentibus tradita. 

1 aut Appi, Spalding : aut apice, A : ut, B. 

1 Cat. Ixxxi. 

2 The Roman accent was a stress, while the Greek was a 
pitch accent, though by the Christian era tending to change 
into stress. Roman grammarians borrow the Greek termin- 
ology and speak of accents in terms of pitch. The explana- 
tion of this is probably that the Roman stress accent was 


BOOK I. v. 20-24 

Graccus or triumpus. Then for a short time it broke 
out into excessive use, witness such spelling as chorona, 
chenturia or praecho, which may still be read in certain 
inscriptions : the well-known epigram of Catullus l 
will be remembered in this connexion. The spellings 2) 
vehementer, comprehendere and mihi have lasted to our 
own day : and among early writers, especially of 
tragedy, we actually find mehe for me in the older MSS. 

It is still more difficult to detect errors of tenor or 22 
tone (I note that old writers spell the word tonor, 
as derived from the Greek roVos), or of accent, styled 
prosody by the Greeks, such as the substitution of 
the acute accent for the grave or the grave for the 
acute : such an example would be the placing of the 
acute accent on the first syllable of Camillas, or the 23 
substitution of the grave for the circumflex in Cetkegus, 
an error which results in the alteration of the 
quantity of the middle syllable, since it means 
making the first syllable acute ; or again the sub- 

O mt 

stitution of the circumflex for the grave on the 
second syllable of Appi, where the contraction of 
two syllables into one circumflexed syllable involves 
a double error. This, however, occurs far more fre- 24 
quently in Greek words such as Atrei, which in our 
young days was pronounced by the most learned of 
our elders with an acute accent on the first syllable, 
necessitating a grave accent on the second ; the 
same remark applies to Nerei and Terei. Such has 
been the tradition as regards accents. 2 


accompanied by an elevation of the pitch. Here the acute 
accent certainly implies stress ; the grave implies a drop in 
pitch and the absence of stress. The circumflex means that 
the voice rises slightly and then falls slightly, but implies 
stress. See Lindsay, Latin Language, pp. 148-153. 

8 9 


25 Ceterum scio iarn quosdam erudites, nonnullos 
etiam grammaticos sic docere ac loqui, ut propter 
quaedam vocum discrimina verbum interim acuto 

26 sono finiant, ut in illis quae circum lillara, circum 
piscosos scopulos, ne, si gravem posuerint secundam, 
circus dici videatur non circuitus. Itemque cum 
quale interrogantes gravi_, comparantes acuto tenore 
concludunt ; quod tamen in adverbiis fere solis ac 
pronominibus vindicant, in ceteris veterem legem 

27 sequuntur. Mihi videtur condicionem mutare, quod 
his locis verba coniungimus. ?^am cum dico circum 
litora, tanquam unum enuntio dissimulata distinc- 
tione, itaque tanquam in una voce una est acuta,, 
quod idem accidit in illo Troiae qui primus ab oris. 

28 Evenit, ut metri quoque condicio mutet accentum, 
ut Pecudes pictaeque volucres ; nam volucres media 
acuta legaro, quia., etsi natura brevis, tamen posi- 
tione longa &st, ne faciat iambum, quern non recipit 

29 versus herous. Separata vero haec a praecepto non 
recedent, aut si consuetude vicerit, vetus lex 

1 Aen. iv. 254. 

2 i.e. that circum is the ace. of circus, and not the adverb 
indicating circuit. 

3 A en. i. 1 : qui coalesces with primus, ab with oris. 
* Georg. iii. 243. 


BOOK I. v. 25-29 

Still I am well aware that certain learned men 25 
and some professed teachers of literature, to ensure 
that certain words may be kept distinct, sometimes 
place an acute accent on the last syllable, both when 
they are teaching and in ordinary speech : as, for 
instance, in the following passage : 

quae circum litora, circum 
piscosos scop ul os, 1 

where they make the last syllable of circum acute on 26 
the ground that, if that syllable were given the grave 
accent, it might be thought that they meant circus 
not circuilus." Similarly when quale is interrogative, 
they give the final syllable a grave accent, but when 
using it in a comparison, make it acute. This practice, 
however, they restrict almost entirely to adverbs 
and pronouns ; in other cases they follow the old 
usage. Personally I think that in such phrases 27 
as these the circumstances are almost entirely altered 
by the fact that we join two words together. For 
when I say circum litora I pronounce the phrase as 
one word, concealing the fact that it is composed of 
two, consequently it contains but one acute accent, 
as though it were a single w r ord. The same thing 
occurs in the phrase Troiae qui primus ab oris? It 28 
sometimes happens that the accent is altered by 
the metre as in pecudes pictaeque volucres 4 ; for I shall 
read volucres with the acute on the middle syllable, 
because, although that syllable is short by nature, it 
is long by position : else the last two syllables 
would form an iambus, which its position in the 
hexameter does not allow. But these same words, 29 
if separated, will form no exception to the rule : or 
if the custom under discussion prevails, the old law 


sermonis abolebitur ; cuius difficilior apud Graecos 
observatio est, quia plura illis loquendi genera, quas 
SiaA.KTous vacant, et quod alia vitiosum interim alia 
rectum est ; apud nos vero brevissima ratio. 

30 Namque in omni voce acuta intra numerum trium 
syllabarum continetur, sive eae sunt in verbo solae 
sive ultimae, et in iis aut proxima extremae aut ab 
ea tertia. Trium porro, de quibus loquor, media 
longa aut acuta aut flexa erit ; eodem loco brevis 
utique gravem habebit sonum, ideoque positam ante 

31 se id est ab ultima tertiam acuet. Est autem in 
omni voce utique acuta sed nunquam plus una 
nee unquam ultima ideoque in dissyllabis prior. 
Praeterea nunquam in eadem flexa et acuta, 
quoniam est in flexa et acuta, itaque neutra 
claudet vocem Latinam. Ea vero, quae sunt 
syllabae unius, erunt acuta aut flexa, ne sit aliqua 

32 vox sine acuta. Et ilia per sonos accidunt, quae 
demonstrari scripto non possunt, vitia oris et linguae : 
tojraKt(r/xovs et /Xa/x^Sa/ctcr^xoi'? et icr^i or^ras et 
TrAaraacr/xovs feliciores fingendis nominibus Graeci 
vocant, sicut KotA.oo-ro/u'av, cum vox quasi in recessu 

33 oris auditur. Sunt etiam proprii quidam et inen- 
arrabiles soni, quibus nonnunquam nationes reprehen- 
dimus. Remotis igitur omnibus, de quibus supra 

1 lotacism = doubling the i sound, e.g. Troiia for Troia ; 
lambdacism = doubling the I. 


BOOK I. v. 29-33 

of the language will disappear. (This law is more 
difficult for the Greeks to observe, because they 
have several dialects, as they call them, and what is 
wrong in one may be right in another.) But with us 

O mf O / 

the rule is simplicity itself. For in every word 30 
the acute accent is restricted to three syllables, 
whether these be the only syllables in the word or 
the three last, and will fall either on the penultimate 
or the antepenultimate. The middle of the three 
syllables of which I speak will be acute or circum- 
flexed, if long, while if it be short, it will have a 
grave accent and the acute will be thrown back to 
the preceding syllable, that is to say the ante- 
penultimate. Every word has an acute accent, but 31 
never more than one. Further the acute never falls 
on the last syllable and therefore in dissyllabic words 
marks the first syllable. Moreover the acute accent 
and the circumflex are never found in one and the 
same word, since the circumflex itself contains an 
acute accent. Neither the circumflex nor the acute, 
therefore, will ever be found in the last syllable of 
a Latin word, with this exception, that monosyllables 
must either be acute or circumflexed ; otherwise we 
should find words without an acute accent at all. 
There are also faults of sound, which we cannot repro- 32 
duce in writing, as they spring from defects of the 
voice and tongue. The Greeks who are happier in 
inventing names than we are call them iotacisms, 
lambdacisms, 1 lo-^oT^Te? (attenuations) and TrAareia- 
o7/.of (broadenings) ; they also use the term KoiXoo-ro/xta, 
when the voice seems to proceed from the depths of 
the mouth. There are also certain peculiar and 33 
indescribable sounds for which we sometimes take 
whole nations to fault. To sum up then, if all the 
faults of which we have just spoken be avoided, 



dixi, vitiis erit ilia quae vocatur op^oeVeta, id est 
emendata cum suavitate vocum explanatio : nam sic 
accipi potest recta. 

34 Cetera vitia omnia ex pluribus vocibus sunt, 
quorum est soloecismus, quanquam circa hoc quoque 
disputatum est. Nam etiam qui complexu orationis 
accidere eum confitentur, quia tamen unius emencla- 
tione verbi corrigi possit, in verbo esse vitium non in 

35 sermone contendunt ; cum, sive amarae cortids seu 
medio corlice per genus facit soloecismum (quorum 
neutrum quidem reprehendo, cum sit utriusque Ver- 
gilius auctor ; sed fingamus utrumlibet non recte 
dictum), mutatio vocis alterius, in qua vitium erat, 
rectam loquendi rationem sit redditura, ut aman 
cortids fiat vel media cortice. Quod manifestae 
calumniae est ; neutrum enim vitiosum est separa- 
tum, sed compositione peccatur, quae iam sermonis 

36 est. Illud eruditius quaeritur, an in singulis quoque 
verbis possit fieri soloecismus, uti si unum quis ad se 
vocans dicat vcnite, aut si phi res a se dimittens ita 
loquatur abi aut discede. Nee non cum responsum 
ab interrogante dissentit, ut si dicenti Quern video ? 
ita occurras Ego. In gestu etiam nonnulli putant 
idem vitium inesse, cum aliud voce aliud nutu vel 

37 manu demonstratur. Huic opinioni neque omnino 

1 Ed. vi. G2. 3 Gcorg. ii. 74. 


BOOK I. v. 33-37 

we shall be in possession of the Greek op 
that is to say, an exact and pleasing articulation ; for 
that is what we mean when we speak of correct 

All other faults in speaking are concerned with 34 
more words than one ; among this class of faults is 
the solecism, although there have been controversies 
about this as well. For even those who acknowledge 
that it occurs in connected speech, argue that, since 
it can be corrected by the alteration of one word, 
the fault lies in the word and not in the phrase or 
sentence. For example whether amarae corticis l or 35 
medio cortice 2 contains a solecism in gender (and 
personally I object to neither, as Vergil is the 
author of both ; however, for the sake of argument 
let us assume that one of the two is incorrect), still 
whichever phrase is incorrect, it can be set right by 
the alteration of the word in which the fault lies : 
that is to say we can emend either to amari corticis 
or media cortice. But it is obvious that these critics 
misrepresent the case. For neither word is faulty 
in itself ; the error arises from its association with 
another word. The fault therefore lies in the 
phrase. Those who raise the question as to whether 36 
a solecism can arise in a single word show greater 
intelligence. Is it for instance a solecism if a man 


when calling a single person to him says uenite, 
or in dismissing several persons says obi or discede ? 
Or again if the answer does not correspond to the 
question : suppose, for example, when someone said 
to you " Whom do I see ? ", you were to reply " I." 
Some too think it a solecism if the spoken word is 
contradicted by the motion of hand or head. I do 37 
not entirely concur with this view nor yet do I 



accedo neque plane dissentio. Nam id fateor 
accidere voce una non tamen aliter, quam si sit 
aliquid, quod vim alterius vocis obtineat, ad quod 
vox ilia referatur, ut soloeci.smus ex complexu fiat 
eorurn, quibus res si^riificantur et voluntas osten- 

38 ditur. Atque ut omnein effu^iam cavillationem, sit 
aliquando in uno verbo nunquam in solo verbo. 
Per quot autem et per quas accidat species,, non satis 
convenit. Qui plenissime, quadripertitam volunt 
esse rationern nee aliam quam barbarism!,, ut fiat 
adiectione nam enim, de susum, in Alexandriam ; 

39 detractione ambulo r'unn, Acpyplo venio, ne hoc fecit ; 
transmutatione, qua ordo turbatur, (juoque ego, enim 
hoc voluit, autem non hadn't. Kx quo rr':riere an sit 
i'jitur initio sermonis po-Jturn, dubitari potest ; quia 
maxirnos auctores in diversa fuiv-.f: opinione video, 
cum apud alios sit etiam frequens, apud alios 

40 nunquarn rc-periatur. Haec tria genera quidam 
deducunt a soloecismo, et adiectionis vitiurn TrAeova. 
v/j.ov, detractionis lAAeii//i^ iriversionis avacrrpotjnjv 
vocant, quae si in spe<-if-rn solo<-<-i mi cadat, v7rfpfia.T(jv 

i\ quoque eodem appellari rnodo p'<sse. Jrnmutatio 
sirie controversia est, curn aliud j)ro alio j>onitur. 
Id per omnes orationis [;artes deprehendimus^ frf- 
queritissime in verbo ; quia plurirna huic accidurit ; 

1 i.e. nam cannot \>". co \\>\<-A with enim; de V;eing a pre- 
po'-;ition cannot r/ovorn an :i']-.-<;fb ("from above"); in is 
not required with Alexandriam, which is the name of a 


BOOK I. v. 37-41 
\vhollv dissent. 1 admit that a solecism may occur 


in a single word, but with this proviso : there must 
be something else equivalent to another word, to 
which the word, in which the error lies, can be 
referred, so that the solecism arises from the faulty 
connexion of those symbols by which facts are ex- 
pressed and purpose indicated. To avoid all sus- 3S 
picion of quibbling, I will say that a solecism may 
occur in one word, but never in a word in isolation. 
There is, however, some controversy as to the 
number and nature of the different kinds of solecism. 
Those who have dealt with the subject most fully 
make a fourfold division, identical with that which 
is made in the case of barbarisms : solecisms are 
brought about by addition, for instance in phrases 
such as nam enim, de susitm, in Alexandnam ; by 39 
omission, in phrases such as ambulo viam, Ae^npio 
venio, or ne hoc fecit : and by transposition as in 
qitoqne ego, enim hoc voluit, aulcm non habuit. 1 L'mler 
this last head comes the question whether igitur can 
be placed first in a sentence : for I note that authors 
of the first rank disagree on this point, some of 
them frequently placing it in that position, others 
never. Some distinguish these three classes of 40 
error from the solecism, styling addition a pleonasm, 
omission an ellipse., and transposition anastrophe: and 
they assert that if anastrophe is a solecism, hi/perbaton 
mMit also be so called. About substitution, that is 41 

t? * 

when one word is used instead of another, there is 
no dispute. It is an error which we may detect in 
connexion with all the parts of speech, but most 
frequently in the verb, because it has greater variety 

town. Quoque, enim and autcrn cannot come first in a 
sentence Ambulo per viam, ab Aegypto venio, nc hoc 
quidem fecit would be the correct Latin. 



ideoque in eo fiunt soloecismi per genera, tempora, 
personas, modos, sive cui status eos dici sen qualitates 
placet, vel sex vel, ut alii volunt, octo ; nam toti- 
dem vitiorum erunt formae, in quot species eorum 
quidque, de quibus supra dictum est, diviseris 

42 praeterea numeros, in quibus nos singularem ac 
pluralem habemus Graeci et SIHKOJ/. Quanquain 
fuerunt, qui nobis quoque adiicerent dualem scripsere, 
legere ; quod evitandae asperitatis gratia mollitum 
est, ut apud veteres pro male mereris, male merere. 
Ideoque quod vocant dualem, in illo solo genere con- 
sistit, cum apud Graecos et in verbi tota fere ratione 
et in nominibus deprehendatur, et sic quoque raris- 

43 simus eius sit usus, apud nostrorum vero nerninem 
haec observatio reperiatur, quin e contrario dcvenere 
locos et conticuere omnes et consedere duces aperte nos 
doceant, nihil horum ad duos pertinere ; dixere 
quoque, quamquam id Antonius Rufus ex diverse 
ponit exemplum, de pluribus patronis praeco pro- 

44 nuntiet. Quid ? non Livius circa initia statim primi 
libri, Tenuere, inquit, arcem Sabini ? et mox, in 
adversum RomaJii subiere ? Sed quern potius ego 
quam M. Tullium sequar ? qui in Oratore, Non 

1 Aen. i. 369 : "They came to the places." 
a Acn. ii. 1 : " All were silent." 

3 Ovid, Met. xiii. 1 : " The chiefs sat them down." 

4 Dixere, "they have spoken," was said when the advo- 
cates had finished their pleading. 

9 8 

BOOK I. v. 41-44 

than any other : consequently in connexion with the 
verb we get solecisms of gender, tense, person and 
mood (or "states" or "qualities" if you prefer either 
of these terms), be these types of error six in number, 
as some assert, or eight as is insisted by others (for 
the number of the forms of solecism will depend on 
the number of subdivisions which you assign to the 
parts of speech of which we have just spoken). 
Further there are solecisms of number ; now Latin 42 
has two numbers, singular and plural, while Greek 
possesses a third, namely the dual. There have 
however been some who have given us a dual as 
well in words such as scripsere and Icgere, in which 
as a matter of fact the final syllable has been 
softened to avoid harshness, just as in old writers 
we find male merere for male mereris. Consequently 
what they assert to be a dual is concerned solely 
with this one class of termination, whereas in Greek 
it is found throughout the whole structure of the 
verb and in nouns as well, though even then it is 
but rarely used. But we find not a trace of such a 43 
usage in any Latin author. On the contrary phrases 
such as devenere locos, 1 con lieu ere omnes, 2 and 
consedere duces b clearly prove that they have no- 
thing to do with the dual. Moreover dixeref al- 
though Antonius Kufus cites it as proof to the 
contrary, is often used by the usher in the courts to 
denote more than two advocates. Again, does not 44 
Livy near the beginning of his first book write 
leniiere arcem Sabini 5 and later in adversum JRomani 
subiere ? But I can produce still better authority. 
For Cicero in his Orator says, " I have no objection 

6 Liv. i. xii.: "The Sabines held the citadel." "The 
Romans marched up the slope against them." 



reprehcndo, inquit, scripsere ; scripserunt esse verius 

45 sentio. Similiter in vocabulis et nominibus fit soloe- 
cismus genere, numero, proprie autem casibus, 
quidquid horum alteri succedet. Huic parti subiun- 
gatur licet per comparationes et superlationes, 
itemque in quibus patrium pro possessive dicitur vel 

46 contra. Nam vitium, quod fit per quantitatem lit 
magnum peculioliim, erunt qui soloecismum putent 
quia pro nomine integro positum sit deminutum. 
Ego dubito, an id improprium potius appellem, sig- 
nificatione enim deerrat ; soloecismi porro vitium non 

47 est in sensu sed in complexu. In participio per 
genus et casum, ut in vocabulo, per tempora, ut in 
verbo, per numerum, ut in utroque, peccatur. Pro- 
nomen quoque genus, numerum, casus habet, quae 

48 omnia recipiunt huiusmodi errorem. Fiunt soloe- 
cismi et quidem plurimi per partes orationis ; sed 
id tradere satis non est, ne ita demmn vitium esse 
credat puer, si pro alia ponatur alia, ut verbum, ubi 
nomen esse debuerit, vel adverbium, ubi pronomen, 

49 et similia. Nam sunt quaedam cognata, ut dicunt, 
id est eiusdem generis, in quibus, qui alia specie 
quam oportet utetur, non minus quam ipso genere 

60 permutato deliquerit. Nam et an et ant coniunc- 
tiones sunt, male tamen interroges, hie aut ille sit; 

1 Oral, xlvii. 157. 

2 Lit. " A great little fortune." 

8 e.g. intus for intro, the genus being adverbs of place. 


BOOK I. v. 44-50 

to the form scripsere, though I regard scripserunt as 
the more correct." l Similarly in vocables and 45 
nouns solecisms occur in connexion with gender, 
number and more especially case, by substitution 
of one for another. To these may be added 
solecisms in the u?,e of comparatives and superlatives, 
or the employment of patronymics instead of 
possessives and vice versa. As for solecisms connected 46 
with expressions of quantity, there are some who 
will regard phrases such as magnum peculiolum 2 as a 
solecism, because the diminutive is used instead of 
the ordinary noun, which implies no diminution. I 
think I should call it a misuse of the diminutive rather 
than a solecism ; for it is an error of sense, whereas 
solecisms are not errors of sense, but rather faulty 
combinations of words. As regards participles, 47 
solecisms occur in case and gender as with nouns, in 
tense as with verbs, and in number as in both. 
The pronoun admits of solecisms in gender, number 
and case. Solecisms also occur with great fre- 48 
quency in connexion with parts of speech : but 
a bare statement on this point is not sufficient, 
as it may lead a boy to think that such error 
consists only in the substitution of one part of 
speech for another, as for instance if a verb is 
placed where we require a noun, or an adverb takes 
the place of a pronoun and so on. For there are 49 
some nouns which are cognate, that is to say of the 
same genus, and he who uses the wrong species 3 in 
connexion with one of these will be guilty of the 
same offence as if he were to change the genus. 
Thus an and aid are conjunctions, but it would be 50 
bad Latin to say in a question hie aut ille sit*; ne and 

4 For hie an illc sit ? 



et ne ac non adverbia ; qui tamen dicat pro illo " ne 
feceris" " non feceris" in idem incidat vitium, quia 
alterum negandi est alterum vetandi. Hoc amplius 
intro et intus loci adverbia, eo tamen intus et intro 

51 sum soloecismi sunt. Eadem in diversitate prono- 
minum, interiectionum, praepositionum accident; 
est etiam soloecismus in oratione comprehensionis 
unius sequentium ac priorum inter se inconveniens 

52 positio. Quaedam tamen et faciem soloecismi 
habent et dici vitiosa non possunt, ut Iragocdia 
Thyesles et ludi Floralia ac Megalensia, quanquam 
haec sequenti tempore interciderunt nunquam aliter 
a veteribus dicta. Schemata igitur nominabuntur, 
frequentiora quidem apud poetas sed oratoribus 

53 quoque permissa. Verum schema fere habebit 
aliquam rationem, ut docebimus eo, quern paulo 
ante promisimus, loco. Sed id quoque, quod 
schema vocatur, si ab aliquo per imprudentiam 

54 factum erit, soloecismi vitio non carebit. In eadem 
specie sunt sed schemate carent, ut supra dixi, 
nomina feminina, quibus mares utuntur, et neutralia, 
quibus feminae. Hactenus de soloecismo. Neque 
enim artem grammaticam componere aggressi sumus, 
sed cum in ordinem incurreret, inhonoratam transire 

55 Hoc amplius, ut institutum ordinem sequar, verba 

1 The meaning of this passage is uncertain, but the 
solecism in question is probably an anacoluthon. 


BOOK I. v. 50-55 

non are adverbs : but he who says non feceris in lieu 
of ne feceris, is guilty of a similar mistake, since one 
negative denies, while the other forbids. Further 
intro and intus are adverbs of place, but eo intus and 
i7itro sum are solecisms. Similar errors may be 51 
committed in connexion with the various kinds of 
pronouns, interjections and prepositions. It is also 
a solecism l if there is a disagreement between what 
precedes and what follows within the limits of a 
single clause. Some phrases have all the appearance 52 
of a solecism and yet cannot be called faulty ; take 
for instance phrases such as tragoedia Thyestes or 
ludi Floralia and Mcgalensia 2 : although these are 
never found in later times, they are the rule in 
ancient writers. We will therefore style them figures 
and, though their use is more frequent in poets, will 
not deny their employment even to orators. Figures 
however will generally have some justification, 53 
as I shall show in a later portion of this work, which 
I promised you a little while back. 3 I must how- 
ever point out that a figure, if used unwittingly, 
will be a solecism. In the same class, though they 54 
cannot be called ficnires. come errors such as the use 


of masculine names with a female termination and 
feminine names with a neuter termination. I have 
said enough about solecisms ; for I did not set out to 
write a treatise on grammar, but was unwilling to 
slight the science by passing it by without salutation, 
when it met me in the course of my journey. 

I therefore resume the path which I prescribed 55 
for myself and point out that words are either 

2 Where strict grammar would require tragoedia Thyestis, 
ludi Florales, Megalenses. The normal usage would be 
simply to say Thyestes, Floralia, Megalensia. 

3 i. iv. 24. The promise is fulfilled in Book IX. 



aut Latina aut peregrina sunt. Peregrina porro ex 
omnibus prope dixerira gentibus ut homines, ut in- 

56 stituta etiam multa venerunt. Taceo de Tuscis et 
Sabinis et Praenestinis quoque ; nam ut eorum ser- 
mone utentem Vettium Lucilius insectatur, quemad- 
modum Pollio reprehendit in Livio Patavinitatem, 

57 licet omnia Italica pro Romanis habeam. Plurima 
Gallica evaluerunt ut raeda ac petorritum, quorum 
altero tamen Cicero altero Horatius utitur. Et 
tnappam circo quoque usitatum nomen Poeni sibi vin- 
dicant, et gurdos, quos pro stolidis accipit vulgus, ex 

58 Hispania duxisse originem audivi. Sed haec divisio 
mea ad Graecum sermonem praecipue pertinet, nam 
et maxima ex parte Romanus inde conversus est et 
confessis quoque Graecis utimur verbis, ubi nostra 
desunt, sicut illi a nobis nonnunquam mutuantur. 
Inde ilia quaestio exoritur, an eadem ratione per 

59 casus duci externa qua nostra conveniat. Ac si 
reperias grammaticum veterum amatorem, neget 
quidquam ex Latina ratione mutandurn, quia, cum 
sit apud nos casus ablativus, quern illi non habent, 
parum conveniat uno casu nostro quinque Graecis 

60 uti ; quin etiam laudet virtutem eorum, qui poten- 
tiorem facere linguam Latinam studebant, nee 
alienis egere institutis fatebantur. Inde Castorcm 
media syllaba producta pronuntiarunt, quia hoc 
omnibus nostris nominibus accidebat, quorum prima 


BOOK I. v. 55-60 

native or foreign. Foreign words, like our population 
and our institutions, have come to us from practically 
every nation upon earth. I pass by words of Tuscan, 56 
Sabine and Praenestine origin ; for though Lucilius 
attacks Vettius for using them, and Pollio reproves 
Livy for his lapses into the dialect of Padua, I may be 
allowed to regard all such words as of native origin. 
Many Gallic words have become current coin, such 57 
as raeda (chariot) and pctorritum (four-wheeled 
wao-on) of which Cicero uses the former and Horace 

C 1 / 

the latter. Mappa (napkin) again, a word familiar 
in connexion with the circus, is claimed by the 
Carthaginians, while I have heard that gurdus, which 
is colloquially used in the sense of "stupid," is 
derived from Spain. But this distinction between 58 
native and foreign words has reference chiefly to 
Greek. For Latin is largely derived from that 
language, and we use words which are admittedly 

o ~ ^ * 

Greek to express things for which we have no Latin 
equivalent. Similiarly they at times borrow words 
from us. In this connexion the problem arises 
whether foreign words should be declined according 

O *-* 

to their language or our own. If you come across 59 

O O 

an archaistic grammarian, he will insist on absolute 


conformity to Latin practice, because, since we have 
an ablative and the Greeks have not, it would be 
absurd in declining a word to use rive Greek 
cases and one Latin. He will also praise the 60 
patriotism of those who aimed at strengthening the 
Latin language and asserted that we had no need 
of foreign practices. They, therefore, pronounced 
Castorem with the second syllable long to bring it 
into conformity with all those Latin nouns which 
have the same termination in the nominative as 


positio in easdem quas Castor litteras exit ; et ut 
Palaemo ac Telamo et Plato (nam sic eum Cicero 
quoque appellat) dicerentur, retinuerunt, quia 
Latin um, quod o et n litteris finiretur, non reperie- 

61 bant. Ne in a quidem atque s litteras exire temere 
masculina Graeca nomina recto casu patiebantur, 
ideoque et apud Caelium legimus Pelia cincinnatus et 
apud Messalam bene fecit Euthia et apud Ciceronem 
Hermagora, ne miremur, quod ab antiquorum pleris- 

62 que Aenea ut Anchisa sit dictus. Nam si ut Maecenas, 
Sufenas, Asprenas dicerentur, genitive casu non e 
littera, sed lis syllaba terminarentur. Inde Olympo 
et tyranno acutam syllabam mediam dederunt, quia 
duabus longis insequentibus primam brevem acui 

63 noster sermo non patitur. Sic genitivus Ulixi et 
A chilli fecit, sic alia plurima. Nunc recentiores 
instituerunt Graecis nominibus Graecas declinationes 
potius dare, quod tamen ipsum non semper fieri 
potest. Mihi autem placet Latinam rationem sequi, 
quousque patitur decor. Neque enim iam Calyp- 
sonem dixerim ut lunonem, quanquam secutus antiquos 

64 C. Caesar utitur hac ratione declinandi. Sed 
auctoritatem consuetudo superavit. In ceteris, 
quae poterunt utroque modo non indecenter efferri, 
qui Graecam figuram sequi malet^ non Latine quidem 
sed tamen citra reprehensionem loquetur. 

65 Simplices voces prima positione id est natura sua 


BOOK I. v. 60-65 

Castor. They also insisted on the forms Palaemo, 
Telamo, and Plato (the last being adopted by Cicero), 
because they could not find any Latin nouns ending 
in -on. They were reluctant even to permit 61 
masculine Greek nouns to end in -as in the nomin- 
ative case, and consequently in Caelius \ve find Pdia 
cincinnatus and in Messala bene fecit Euthia, and in 
Cicero Hermagora. 1 So we need not be surprised 
that the majority of early writers said Aenea and 
Anchisa. For, it was urged, if such words are spelt 62 
like Maecenas, Sufenas and Asprenas, the genitive 
should terminate in -tis not in -e. On the same 
principle they placed an acute accent on the middle 
syllable of Olympus and tyrannus, because Latin does 
not allow an acute accent on the first syllable if it is 
short and is followed by two long syllables. So too Q'3 
we get the Latinised genitives Ulixi and Achilli to- 
gether with many other analogous forms. More recent 
scholars have instituted the practice of giving Greek 
nouns their Greek declension, although this is not 
always possible. Personally I prefer to follow the 
Latin method, so far as grace of diction will permit. 
For I should not like to say Cahjpsonem on the analogy 
of lunonem, although Gaius Caesar in deference to 
antiquity does adopt this way of declining it. Current 
practice has however prevailed over his authority. In 64 
other words which can be declined in either way 
without impropriety, those who prefer it can employ 
the Greek form : they will not be speaking Latin, 
but will not on the other hand deserve censure. 

Simple words are what they are in the nomin- 65 
ative, that is, their essential nature. Compound 

1 This form does not actually occur in Cicero, MSS. 
evidently wrongly giving Hermagoras. 



constant, compositae aut praepositionibus subiun- 
guntur ut innocens (dura ne pugnantibus inter se 
duabus, quale est imperterrilus ; alioqui possunt 
aliquando continuari duae ut incompositus, reconditus 
et quo Cicero utitur subabsurduni), aut e duobus quasi 

66 corporibus coalescunt, ut maleficus. Nam ex tribus 
nostrae utique linguae non concesserim ; quamvis 
capsis Cicero dicat compositum esse ex cape si vis, et 
inveniantur qui Lupercalia aeque tres partes orationis 

67 esse contendant, quasi lucre per caprum ; nam Soli- 
taurilia iam persuasum est esse Suovetaurilia, et sane 
ita se habet sacrum, quale apud Homerum quoque 
est. Sed haec non tarn ex tribus quam ex particulis 
trium coeunt. Ceterum etiam ex praepositione et 
duobus vocabulis dure videtur struxisse Pacuvius 

68 Nerei repandirostrum, incurvicervicum pecus. lun- 
guntur autem aut ex duobus Latinis integris ut 
superfui f svbterfugi (quanquam ex integris an com- 
posita sint quaeritur), aut ex integro et corrupto ut 

1 Quintilian regards the negative in as a preposition. His 
objection to imperterritus (which is used by Vergil) seems 
to lie in the fact that while inierritus is a natural way of 
expressing " unterrified," it is unreasonable to negative per- 
territus, which means " thoroughly terrified." The presence 
of the intensifying per conflicts with the force of the 
negative in. 2 Orat. xlv. 154. 

3 As in Od. xi. 130. The word means sacrifices of a pig, 
sheep and bull. 

BOOK I. v. 65-68 

words are formed by the prefix of a preposition as 
in innocens, though care must be taken that two 
conflicting prepositions are not prefixed as in 
imperteriitus 1 : if this be avoided they may in certain 
cases have a double prefix as in incompositus or 
reconditus or the Ciceronian subabsurdum. They may 
also be formed by what I might term the com- 
bination of two independent units, as in male/icus. 
For I will not admit that the combination of three 66 
is possible at any rate in Latin, although Cicero 
asserts that capsis 2 is compounded of cape si vis, and 
there are to be found scholars who contend that 
Lupercalia likewise is a compound of three parts of 
speech, namely lucre per caprum. As for Solitaurilia 67 
it is by now universally believed to stand for 
Suovetaurilia, a derivation which corresponds to the 
actual sacrifice, which has its counterpart in Homer 3 
as well. But these compounds are formed not so 
much from three words as from the fragments of 
three. On the other hand Pacuvius seems to have 
formed compounds of a preposition and two vocables 
(i.e. nouns) as in 

Nerei repandirostrum incurvicervicum pecus : 

"The flock 
Of Nereus snout-uplifted, neck-inarched " : 

the effect is unpleasing. Compounds are however 68 
formed from two complete Latin words, as for in- 
stance super fui and subterfugi ; though in this case 
there is some question as to whether the words from 
which they are formed are complete. 4 They may 
also be formed of one complete and one incomplete 

4 i.e. if both elements are complete in themselves is the 
word a true compound ? 



malevolttSj aut ex corrupto et integro ut noctivagus, 
aut ex duobus corruptis ut pedisecus, aut ex nostro 
et peregrino ut bidinium, aut contra ut epilogium et 
Anticato, aliquando et ex duobus peregrinis ut epi- 
rac'diiim. Nam cum sit praepositio Graeca, raeda 
Gallicum : neque Graecus tamcn neque Callus utitur 
composite ; Romani suum ex alieno utroque fecerunt. 
59 Frequenter autem praepositiones quoque compositio 
ista corrumpit : inde abstulit, aufugit, amisit, cum 
praepositio sit ab sola ; et coil, cum sit praepositio 

70 con ; sic ignavi et erepublica et similia. Sed res tota 
magis Graecos decet, nobis minus succedit, nee id 
fieri natura puto, sed alienis favemus ; ideoque cum 
Kvprai'x^o. mirati simus, incurvicervicum vix a risu 

71 Propria sunt verba, cum id significant, in quod 
primo denominata sunt ; translata, cum alium natura 
intellectum alium loco praebent. Usitatis tutius 
utimur, nova non sine quodam periculo fingimus. 
Nam si recepta sunt, modicam laudem adferimt 

72 orationi, repudiata etiam in iocos exeunt. Audeu- 
dum tamen ; namque, ut Cicero ait, etiam quae 
primo dura visa sunt, usu molliuntur. Sed minime 
nobis concessa est ovo/j-aro-oua ', quis enim ferat, si 

1 Sometimes \vritten as one word. 

2 de Nat. dcorum, I. xxxiv. 95. 


BOOK I. v. 68-72 

word, as in the case of malevolus, or of one incom- 
plete and one complete, such as noctivagus, or of 

two incomplete words as in pedisecus (footman), or 
from one Latin and one foreign word as in biclinium 
(a dining-couch for two), or in the reverse order 
as in epitogium (an upper garment) or Anticato, and 
sometimes even from two foreign words as in 
epiraedium (a thong attaching the horse to the raeda). 
For in this last case the preposition is Greek, while 
raeda is Gallic, while the compound is employed 
neither by Greek nor Gaul, but has been appro- 
priated by Rome from the two foreign tongues. In 69 
the case of prepositions they are frequently changed 
by the act of compounding: as a result we get 
abslulit, aufiigit, amisit, though the preposition is ab, 
and coil, though the preposition is con. The same is 
true of ignauus and erepublica. 1 But compounds are 70 
better suited to Greek than to Latin, though I do 
not think that this is due to the nature of our 
language : the reason rather is that we have a 
preference for foreign goods, and therefore receive 
Kvpravx^v with applause, whereas we can scarce 
defend incurvicervicus from derisive laughter. 

Words are proper when they bear their original 71 
meaning ; metaphorical, when they are used in a 
sense different from their natural meaning. Current 
words are safest to use : there is a spice of danger in 
coining new. For if they are adopted, our style 
wins but small "-lorv from them ; while if they are 


rejected, they become a subject for jest. Still we 72 
must make the venture; for as Cicero 2 says, use 
softens even these words which at first seemed harsh. 
On the other hand the power of onomatopoeia is denied 
us. Who would tolerate an attempt to imitate 



quid simile illis merito laudatis Aty /?io? et crt^ev 
6(f>0a\[j.6$ fingere audeamus? Nam ne balare quidem 
aut hinnire fortiter diceremus, nisi iudicio vetustatis 

VI. Est etiam sua loquentibus observatio, sua 
scribentibus. Sermo constat ratione vel vetustate, 
auctoritate, consuetudine. Rationem praestat prae- 
cipue analogia, nonnunquam et etymologia. Vetera 
maiestas quaedam et, ut sic dixerim, religio com- 

2 mendat. Auctoritas ab oratoribus vel historicis peti 
solet ; nam poetas metri necessitas excusat, nisi 
si quando nihil impediente in utroque modulatione 
pedum alterum malunt, qualia sunt, imo de stirpe 
rccisum, et aeriae quo congessere palumbes et silice in 
nuda et similia ; cum summorum in eloquentia 
virorum indicium pro ratione, et velut error honestus 

3 est magnos duces sequentibus. Consuetudo vero 
certissima loquendi magistra, utendumque plane 
serrnone ut nummo, cui publica forma est. Omnia 
tameii haec exigunt acre iudiciurn, analogia praeci- 
pue, quam proxime ex Graeco transferentes in 

4 Latinum proportionem vocaverunt. Eius haec vis 
est, ut id quod dubium est ad aliquid simile, de quo 
non quaeritur, referat et incerta certis probet. 
Quod efficitur duplici via : comparatione similium 
in extremis maxima syllabis, propter quod ea quae 

1 Homer, II. iv. 125. J Od. ix. 394. 

8 Aen. xii. 208 : "cut away from the lowest root." Eel. iii. 
69: " where airy doves have made their nest." Eel. i. 15: 
" on the naked rock." Stirps, palumbes and silex are usually 


BOOK 1. v. 7 2-vi. 4 

phrases like the much praised Aiye /^.o's, 1 " the 
bow twanged," and criej/ 6<f>8a\/ji6<;, z " the eye 
hissed " ? We should even feel some qualms about 
using balare "to baa," and hinmre, " to whinny/' if 
we had not the sanction of antiquity to support us. 

VI. There are special rules which must be ob- 
served both by speakers and writers. Language is 
based on reason, antiquity, authority and usage. 
Reason finds its chief support in analogy and some- 
times in etymology. As for antiquity, it is commen- 
ded to us by the possession of a certain majesty, I 
might almost say sanctity. Authority as a rule we 2 
derive from orators and historians. For poets, owing 
to the necessities of metre, are allowed a certain 
licence except in cases where they deliberately 
choose one of two expressions, when both are metri- 
cally possible, as for instance in imo de stirpe red sum 
and aeriae quo congessere palumbes or silice in nuda a 
and the like. The judgment of a supreme orator 
is placed on the same level as reason, and even error 
brings no disgrace, if it result from treading in the 
footsteps of such distinguished guides. Usage 3 
however is the surest pilot in speaking, and we 
should treat language as currency minted with 
the public stamp. But in all these cases we have 
need of a critical judgment, especially as regards 
analogy (a Greek term for which a Latin equivalent 
has been found in proportion}. The essence of analogy 4 
is the testing of all subjects of doubt by the applica- 
tion of some standard of comparison about which 
there is no question, the proof that is to say of the 
uncertain by reference to the certain. This can be 
done in two different ways : by comparing similar 
words, paying special attention to their final syllables 


Runt e singulis negantur debere rationem, et demi- 

5 nutione. Comparatio in nominibus aut genus 
deprehendit aut declinationem ; genus, ut si quae- 
ra,tur }i funis masculinum sit an femininum, simile illi 
sit panis ; declinationem, ut si veniat in dubium, 
hac domu dicendum sit an hac domo et domuum an 

6 domorum : similia sint [domus] anus, mamis. Demi- 
nutio genus modo detegit, et, ne ab eodem exemplo 
recedam, funem masculinum esse funiculus ostendit. 

7 Eadem in verbis quoque ratio comparationis, ut, si 
quis antiques secutus fervere brevi media syllaba 
dicat, deprehendatur vitiose loqui, quod omnia, quae 
e et o litteris fatendi modo terminantur, eadem, si 
infinitis e litteram media syllaba acceperunt, utique 
productam habent : prandeo pendeo spondeo, prandere 

8 pendere spondere. At quae o solam habent, dummodo 
per eandem litteram in infinito exeant, brevia fiunt : 
lego dico curro, legere dicere currere ; etiamsi est apud 
Lucilium Fervit aqua et fervet, fervit niuic, fervet ad 

9 annum. Sed, pace dicere hominis eruditissimi liceat, 
si fervit putat illi simile currit et legit, fervo dicetur 
ut lego et curro, quod nobis inauditum est. Sed non 
est haec vera comparatio ; nam fervit est illi simile 

1 sc. because two monosyllables, unless identical, cannot 
have the same n%l syllable. 2 In Book IX. 


BOOK I. vi. 4-9 

(hence monosyllables are asserted to lie outside the 
domain of analogy 1 } and by the study of diminutives. 
Comparison of nouns will reveal either their gender 5 
or their declension : in the first case, supposing the 
question is raised as to whether Junis be masculine 
or feminine, panis will. supply a standard of compari- 
son : in the second case, supposing we are in doubt 
as to whether we should say hac dornu or hac domo, 
dommim or domorum, the standard of comparison will 
be found in words such as anus or manus. Diminutives 6 
merely reveal the gender : for instance, to return to 
a word previously used as an illustration, fitniculus 
proves that funis is masculine. The same standard 7 
may be applied in the case of verbs. For instance 
if it should be asserted that the middle syllable of 
fervere is short, we can prove this to be an error, 
because all verbs which in the indicative terminate 
in -eo y make the middle syllable of the infinitive 
long, if that syllable contain an e : take as examples 
such verbs as prandeo 3 pendeo, spondeo with infinitives 
prandere, pendcre, spondere. Those verbs, however, 8 
which terminate in -o alone, if they form the infini- 
tive in e, have the e short ; compare lego, dico, curro, 
with the infinitives, legere, diccre, currere. I admit 
that in Lucilius we find 

fervit aqua et fervet : fervit nuncfervet ad annum. 2 

" The water boils and boil it will ; it boils and for a 
year will boil." 

But with all due respect to so learned a man, if he 
regards fervit as on the same footing as currit and 
Legit, we shall say fervo as we say lego and curro : 9 
but such a form has never yet come to my ears. 
But this is not a true comparison : for fervit re- 



servit, quam proportionem sequenti dicere necesse est 

10 fervire ut servire. Prima quoque aliquando positio ex 
obliquis invenitur, ut memoria repeto convictos a me, 
qui reprehenderant, quod hoc verbo usus essem, 
pepigi ; nam id quidem dixisse summos auctores con- 
fitebantur, rationem tamen negabant permittere, 
quia prima positio paciscor, cum haberet naturam 
patiendi, faceret tempore praeterito pactus sum. 

11 Nos praeter auctoritatem oratorum atque histori- 
corum analogia quoque dictum hoc tuebamur. Nam 
cum legeremus in XII tabulis ni ita pacunt, invenie- 
bamus simile huic cadunt, inde prima positio, etiamsi 
vetustate exoleverat, apparebat paco ut cado, unde 

12 non erat dubium sic pepigi nos dicere ut cecidi. Sed 
meminerimus non per omnia duci analogiae posse 
rationem, cum et sibi ipsa plurimis in locis repugnet. 
Quaedam sine dubio conantur eruditi defendere, ut, 
cum deprehensum est, lepns et lupus similia positione 
quantum casibus numerisque dissentiant : ista re- 
spondent non esse paria, quia lepus epicoenon sit, 
lupus masculinum ; quanquam Varro in eo libro, quo 
initia Romanae urbis enarrat, lupum feminam dicit 

13 Ennium Pictoremque Fabium secutus. Illi autem 
iidem, cum interrogantur, cur aper apri et pater patris 
faciat, illud nomen positum, hoc ad aliquid esse 
contendunt. Praeterea quoniam utrumque a Graeco 


BOOK I. vi. 9-13 

sembles servit, and on this analogy we should say 
fervire like servire. It is also possible in certain 10 
cases to discover the present indicative of a verb from 
the study of its other tenses. I remember, for in- 
stance, refuting certain scholars who criticised me for 
using the word pepigi : for, although they admitted 
that it had been used by some of the best authors, 
they asserted that it was an irrational form because 
the present indicative paciscor, being passive in 
form, made pactus sum as its perfect. I in addition 1 1 
to quoting the authority of orators and historians 
maintained that I was also supported by analogy. 
For when I found ni ita pacunt in the Twelve Tables, 
I noted that cadunt provided a parallel : it was clear 
therefore that the present indicative, though now 
obsolete, was paco on the analogy of cado, and it 
was further obvious that we say pepigi for just the 
same reason that we say cecidi. But we must 12 
remember that analogy cannot be universally applied, 
as it is often inconsistent with itself. It is true 
indeed that scholars have attempted to justify certain 
apparent anomalies : for example, when it is noted 
to what an extent lepus and lupus, which resemble 
each other closely in the nominative, differ in the 
plural and in the other cases, they reply that they 
are not true parallels, since lepus is epicene, while 
lupus is masculine, although Varro in the book in 
which he narrates the origins of Rome, writes lupus 
femina, following the precedent of Ennius and 
Fabius Pictor. The same scholars, however, when 13 
asked why aper became apri in the genitive, but pater 
patris, asserted that aper was an absolute, pater 
a relative noun. Further since both words derive 
from the Greek, they took refuge in the fact 



ductum sit, ad earn rationem recurrunt, ut Trarpo? 

14 patris, Ka-rrpov apri faciat. Ilia tamen quomodo 
effugient, ut, nomina quamvis feminina singular! 
nominativo us litteris finita nunquam genitivo casu 
ris syllaba terminentur, faciat tamen Venus Veneris ? 
item cum es litteris finita per varies exeant genitives, 
nunquam tamen eadem ris syllaba terminates, Ceres 

15 cogat dici Cereris ? Quid vero ? quod tota positionis 
eiusdem in diversos flexus eunt? cum Alba faciat 
Albanos et Albenses, volo volui et volavi. Nam prae- 
terito quidem tempore varie formari verba prima 
persona o littera terminata, ipsa analogia confiteatur ; 
siquidem facit cado cecidi, spondeo spopondi, pin go pinxi, 

16 lego legi, pono posui, frango fregi, laudo laudavi. Non 
enim, cum primum fingerentur homines, analogia 
demissa caelo formam loquendi dedit, sed inventa 
est postquam loquebantur, et notatum in sermone 
quid quomodo caderet. Itaque non ratione nititur 
sed exemplo, nee lex est loquendi sed observatio, ut 
ipsamanalogiamnulla res alia feceritquam consuetude. 

17 Inhaerent tamen ei quidam molestissima diligentiae 
perversitate, ut audaciter potius dicant quam audader, 
licet omnes oratores aliud sequantur, et emicavit non 
emicuit et conire non coire. His permittamus et 
audhisse et scivisse et trilmnale et faciliter dicere ; 
frugnlis quoque sit apud illos nonjrugi. nam quo alio 

18 modo fiet frugalifas? lidem centum milia minimum et 
tid em Deum ostendant duplices quoque soloecismos 

1 i.e. minimum and deum should, strictly speaking, be 
accus. singular. 


BOOK I. vi. 13-18 

that TraTpds provides a parallel to patris and 
to apri. But how will they evade the difficulty 14 
that feminine nouns whose nominative singular 
ends in -us never make the genitive end in -ris, 
and yet the genitive of Venus is Vcneris : again 
nouns ending in -es have various genitive ter- 
minations, but never end in -ris, but yet we have 
no choice but to make the genitive of Ceres Cereris? 
Again what of those words which, although identi- 15 
cal in the form of the nominative or present indica- 
tive, develop the utmost variety in their inflections. 
Thus from Alba we get both Albanus and Albensis, 
from volo both volui and volavi. Analogy itself 
admits that verbs whose present indicative ends in 
-o have a great variety of perfect formations, as 
for instance cado cecidi, spondco spopondi, pingo pinxi, 
lego legi, pono posui,frangofregi } laudo laudavi. For 16 
analogy was not sent down from heaven at the 
creation of mankind to frame the rules of language, 
but was discovered after they began to speak and to 
note the terminations of words used in speech. It 
is therefore based not on reason but on example, 
nor is it a law of language, but rather a practice 
which is observed, being in fact the offspring of 
usage. Some scholars, however, are so perverse and 17 
obstinate in their passion for analogy, that they say 
audaciter in preference to audacter,, the form preferred 
by all orators, and emicaiit for emicuit, and conire 
for coire. We may permit them to say audivisse, 
scivisse, tribunale and faclliter, nor will we deprive 
them of frugally as an alternative for frugl : for 
from what else can frngalitas be formed? They may 18 
also be allowed to point out that phrases such as 
centum milia nummum and Jidem deum l involve a 



esse, quando et casum mutant et numerum ; nescie- 
bamus enim ac non consuetudini et decori servie- 
bamus, sicut in plurimis, quae M. Tullius in Oratore 

19 divine ut omnia exequitur. Sed Augustus quoque 
in epistulis ad C. Caesarem scriptis emendat, quod is 
caUduni dicere quam caldum malit, non quia id non 
sit Latinum sed quia sit odiosum et, ut ipse Graeco 

20 verbo significavit, Trept'epyor. Atqui hanc quidam 
opOoeTreiav solam putant, quam ego minima excludo. 
Quid enim tarn necessarium quam recta locutio? 
Immo inhaerendum ei iudico, quoad licet, diu etiam 
mutantibus repugnandum ; sed abolita atque abrogata 
retinere insolentiae cuiusdam est et frivolae in parvis 

21 iactantiae. Multum enim litteratus, qui sine aspira- 
tione et producta secunda syllaba salutarit (avere est 
enim) et calefacere dixerit potius, quam quod dicimus, 
et conservavisse, his adiiciat face et dice et similia. 

22 Recta est liaec via; quis negat ? sed adiacet et 
mollior et magis trita. Ego tamen non alio magis 
angor, quam quod obliquis casibus ducti etiam primas 
sibi positiones non invenire sed mutare permittunt : 
ut cum ebur et robur, ita dicta ac scripta summis 
auctoribus, in o litteram secundae svllabae trans- 

' v 

ferunt, quia sit roboris et eboris, sulpur autem et 
guttur u litteram in genitive servent ; ideoque iecur 

23 etiam et femur controversiam fecerunt. Quod non 

1 xlvi. 155. 

8 For hact, calfacere, conservasse. 


BOOK I. vi. 18-23 

double solecism, since they change both case and 
number. Of course we were in blank ignorance 
of the fact and were not simply conforming to usage 
and the demands of elegance, as in the numerous 
cases, with which Cicero deals magnificently, as 
always, in his Orator. 1 Augustus again in his letters 19 
to (.laius Caesar corrects him for preferring calidus 
to caldns, riot on the ground that the former is not 
Latin, but because it is unpleasing and as he himself 
puts it in Greek Treptepyov (affected). Some hold 20 
that this is just a question of op#oeVeta or correctness 
of speech, a subject to which I am far from being 
indifferent. For what can be more necessary than 


that we should speak correctly ? Nay, I even think 
that, as far as possible, we should cling to correct 
forms and resist all tendencies to change. But to 
attempt to retain forms long obsolete and extinct 
is sheer impertinence and ostentatious pedantry. 
I would suggest that the ripe scholar, who says "ave" 21 
without the aspirate and with a long e (for it comes 
from arere), and uses calefacere and conservavisse in 
preference to the usual forms, 2 should also add face, 
dice and the like to his vocabulary. His way is the 22 
right way. Who doubts it ? But there is an easier 
and more frequented path close by. There is, 
however, nothing which annoys me more than their 
habit not merely of inferring the nominative from 
the oblique cases, but of actually altering it. For 
instance in ebur and robur, the forms regularly used 
both in writing and speech by the best authors, 
these gentlemen change their second syllable to o, 
because their genitives are roboris and eboris, and be- 
cause sulpur and gidtur keep the u in the genitive. So 
too femur and iecur give rise to similar controversy. 



minus est licentiosum, quam si sulpuri et gutturi 
subiicerent in genitive litteram o mediam, quia esset 
ebons et roboris ; sicut Antonius Gnipho, qui robur 
quidem et ebur atque etiarn marmur faletur esse, 
verum fieri vult ex liis robnra, ebur a, marmur a. 

24 Quodsi animadverterent litterarum adfinitatem, 
scirent sic ab eo, quod est robur, roboris fieri, quo- 
modo ab eo, quod est miles limes, militis limitis, index 
vindex, iudicis lindicis, et quae supra iam attigi. 

25 Quid vero quod, ut dicebam, similes positiones in 
longe diversas figuras per obliquos casus exeunt, ut 
virgo luno, fusus lusus, cuspis puppis et mille alia ? 
cum illud etiam accidat, ut quaedam pluraliter non 
dicantur, quaedam contra singular! numero, quaedam 
casibus careant, quaedam a primis; statim positionibus 

26 tota mutentur, ut luppiter. Quod verbis etiam 
accidit ut illi fero, cuius praeteritum perfectum et 
ulterius non invenitur. Nee plurimum refert, nulla 
haec an praedura sint. Nam quid progenies genitivo 
singular], quid plurali spes faciet ? Quomodo autem 
quire et mere vel in praeterita patiendi modo vel in 

27 participia transibunt? Quid de aliis dicam, cum 
senatus senati an senaius facial, incertum sit ? Quare 
mihi non invenuste dici videtur, aliud esse Latine 
aliud grammatice loqui. Ac de analogia nimium. 

28 Etvmologia, quae verborum originem inquirit, a 


BOOK I. vi. 23-28 

Their proceedings are just as arbitrary as if they 23 
were to substitute an o in the genitives of sulpur 
and gutlur on the analogy of eboris and roboris. 
Thus Antonius Gnipho while admitting robur, ebur 
and even marmur to be correct, would have their 
plurals to be ebura, robura and mannura. If they 24 
would only pay attention to the affinities existing 
between letters, they would realize that robur makes 
its genitive roboris in precisely the same way that 
Limes, miles, index and uindcx make their genitives 
militis, limitis, iudicis and uindicis, not to mention other 
words to which I have already referred. Do not nouns 25 


which are similar in the nominative show, as I have 
already observed, quite different terminations in the 
oblique cases ? Compare uirgo and Juno, lusus and 
fusns, cu&pis and puppis and a thousand others. 
Again some nouns are not used in the plural, while 
others are not used in the singular, some are inde- 
clinable, while others, like Jupiter, in the oblique 
cases entirely abandon the form of the nominative. 26 
The same is true of verbs : for instance fero dis- 


appears in the perfect and subsequent tenses. Nor 
does it matter greatly whether such forms are non- 
existent or too harsh to use. For what is the geni- 
tive singular of progenies or the genitive plural ofspes? 
Or how will quire and mere form a perfect passive or 
passive participles. Why should I mention other 27 
words when it is even doubtful whether the genitive 
of senatus is senati or senatus ? In view of what I 
have said, it seems to me that the remark, that it 
is one thing to speak Latin and another to speak 
grammar, was far from unhappy. So much for 
analogy, of which I have said more than enough. 
Etymology inquires into the origin of words, and 28 



Cicerone dicta est notatio, quia nomen eius apud 
Aristotelem invenitur avfiftoXov, quod est nota ; nam 
verbum ex verbo ductum, id est veriloquium, ipse 
Cicero, qui finxit, reformidat. Sunt qui vim potius 

29 intuiti originationem vocent. Haec habet aliquando 
usum necessarium, quotiens interpretatione res, de 
qua quaeritur, eget, ut M. Caelius se esse hominem 
frugi vult probare, non quia abstinens sit (nam 
id ne ementiri quidem poterat), sed quia utilis 
multis, id est fructuosus, unde sit ducta frugalitas. 
Ideoque in definitionibus assignatur etymologiae 

30 locus. Nonnunquam etiam barbara ab emendatis 
conatur discernere, ut cum, Triqnelram dici Sicilian! 
an Triquedram, meridiem an medidiem oporteat quae- 

31 ritur, aliaque quae consuetudini serviunt. Continet 
autem in se multam eruditionem, sive ex Graecis 
orta tractemus, quae sunt plurima, praecipueque 
Aeolica ratione (cui est sermo noster simillimus) 
declinata, sive ex historiarum veterum notitia nomina 
hominum, locorum, gentium, urbium requiramus, 
unde Bruti, Publicolae, Pythici ? cur Latiinn, Italia, 
Beneventum? quae Capitolium et collem Quirinalem et 
Argiletum appellandi ratio? 

32 lam ilia minora, in quibus maxime studiosi eius 

1 Top. viii. 35. ! ircpi c-p/z. 2. 

8 For derivations see Index of Names at end. 


BOOK I. vi. 28-32 

was called notation by Cicero, 1 on the ground that 
the term used by Aristotle 2 is cru/xftoAov, which may 
be translated by nota. A literal rendering of eYu//oA.oyia 
would be ueritoquium, a form which even Cicero, its 
inventor, shrinks from using. Some again, with an 
eye to the meaning of the word, call it origination. 
Etymology is sometimes of the utmost use, when- 29 
ever the word under discussion needs interpretation. 
For instance Marcus Caelius wishes to prove that he 
is homo frugi, not because he is abstemious (for he 
could not even pretend to be that), but because he 
is useful to many, that is frucluosus, from which 
frugalitas is derived. Consequently we find room 
for etymology when we are concerned with de- 
finitions. Sometimes again this science attempts to 30 
distinguish between correct forms and barbarisms, as 
for instance when we are discussing whether we 
should call Sicily Triquetra or Triqutdra, or say 
meridies or medidies, not to mention other words 
which depend on current usage. Such a science 31 
demands profound erudition, whether we are deal- 
ing with the large number of words which are 

O O 

derived from the Greek, more especially those 
inflected according to the practice of the Aeolic 
dialect, the form of Greek which most nearly 
resembles Latin ; or are using ancient historians as 
a basis for inquiry into the origin of names of men, 
places, nations and cities. For instance what is the 
origin of names such as Brutus, Publicola, or Pythicus ? 
Why do we speak of Latium, Italia or Beneventum ? 
What is the reason for employing such names as 
Capitolium, collis Quirmalis or Argiletum ? 3 

1 now turn to minor points concerning which 32 
enthusiasts for etymology give themselves an 



rei fatigantur, qui verba paulum declinata varie et 
multipliciter ad veritatem reducunt aut correptis aut 
porrectis, aut adiectis aut detractis, aut permutatis 
litteris syllabisve. Inde pravis ingeniis ad foedissima 
usque ludibria labuntur. Sit enim Consul a consu- 
lendo vel a iudicando ; nam et hoc consulere veteres 
vocaverunt, unde adhuc remanet illud rogat boni 

33 consulas, id est bonum iudices. Senatui nomen 
dederit aetas (nam iidem Patres sunt), et rex rector 
et alia plurima indubitata ; nee abnuerim tcgulae 
regulaeque et similium his rationem. lam sit et 
classis a calando et lepus levipes et vu/pes volipes : 

34 etiamne a contrariis aliqua sinemus trahi, ut Incus, 
quia umbra opacus parum luceat, et ludus, quia sit 
longissime a lusu^ et Ditis, quia minime dives'? 
etiamne hominem appellari, quia sit humo natus (quasi 
vero non omnibus animalibus eadem origo, aut illi 
primi mortales ante nomen imposuerint terrae quam 

35 sibi), et verba ab acre verberato ? Pergamus : sic 
perveniemus eo usque, ut stella luminis stilla credatur, 


BOOK I. vi. 32-35 

infinity of trouble, restoring to their true form words 
which have become slightly altered : the methods 
which they employ are varied and manifold : they 
shorten them or lengthen them, add, remove, or 
interchange letters and syllables as the case may be. 
As a result perverseness of judgment leads to the 
most hideous absurdities. I am ready to admit that 
consul may be derived from considere in the sense of 
consulting or judging; for the ancients used con- 
sulere in the latter sense, and it still survives in the 
phrase rogal boni consulas, that is honum indices, "judge 
fit." Again senatus may well be derived from old 33 
age (for the senators are called "the fathers"): 
I concur in the derivations assigned to rex rector 
to say nothing of many other words where there 
can be no doubt, and do not refuse to accept those 
suggested for tegula, regula and the like : let classis 
be from calare (call out, summon), lepus be a con- 
traction of levipes and vulpes of volipes. But are we 34 
also to admit the derivation of certain words from 
their opposites, and accept lucus a non lucendo, since 
a grove is dark with shade, Indus in the sense of 
school as being so called because it is quite the 
reverse of " play " and Dis, Ditis from diues, because 
Pluto is far from being rich ? Are we to assent to 
the view that homo is derived from humus, because 
man sprang from the earth, as though all other 
living things had not the same origin or as if 
primitive man gave the earth a name before giving 
one to himself? Or again can verbum be derived 
from aer verberatus, "beaten air"? Let us go a 35 
little further and we shall find that stella is believed 
to be still a luminis "a drop of light," a derivation 
whose author is so famous in literature that it would 



cuius etymologiae auctorem clarum sane in litteris 
nominari in ea parte, qua a me reprehenditur, inhu- 

36 manum est. Qui vero talia libris complex! sunt, 
nomina sua ipsi inscripserunt ; ingenioseque visus 
est Gavius caelibes dicere veluti caelites, quod onere 
gravissimo vacent, idque Graeco argumento iuvit, 
ffiOeovs enim eadem de causa dici arlirmat. Nee ei 
cedit Modestus inventione, nam, quia Caelo Saturnus 
genitalia absciderit, hoc nomine appellatos, qui 
uxore careant, ait ; Aelius pituitam, quia pelat vilam. 

37 Sed cui non post Varronem sit venia, qui agrum, quia 
in eo agatur aliquid, et graculos, quia gregalim volent, 
dictos Ciceroni persuadere voluit (ad eum enim 
scribit), cum alterum ex Graeco sit manifestum duci, 

38 alterum ex vocibus avium ? Sed hoc tanti fuit 
vertere, ut merula, quia sola volat, quasi mera volans 
nominaretur. Quidam non dubitaverunt etymologiae 
subiicere omnem nominis causam : ut ex habitu^ 
quemadmodum dixi^ Longos et Rufos, ex sono strepere, 
murmurare ; etiam derivata, ut a velocilate dicitur 
velox, et composita pluraque his similia, quae sine 
dubio aliunde origin em ducunt, sed arte non 

1 de Lingua Lat. \. 34 and 76. 

2 The above makes Quintilian derive velox from velocitas, 
as Varro (L.L. viii. 15) derives prudens from prudentia. 
Those who regard this as incredible must with Colson 
transpose ut . . . velox to follow Rufos making Velox a cog- 
nomen, or with Meister read velo for velocitate, or velo citato 


BOOK I. vi. 35-38 

be unkind to mention his name in connexion with a 
point where he comes in for censure. But those 36 
who collected such derivations in book form, put 
their names on the title page ; and Gavius thought 
himself a perfect genius when he identified caelibes, 
"bachelors/' with caelites, "gods/' on the ground 
that they are free from a heavy load of care, and 
supported this opinion by a Greek analogy: for he 
asserted that ^Weoi, " young men/' had a precisely 
similar origin. Modestus is not his inferior in 
inventive power : for he asserts that caelibes, that is 
to say unmarried men, are so called because Saturn 
cut off the genital organs of Caelus. Aelius asserts 
that pituita, "phlegm/' is so called quia petal mtam, 
because it attacks life. But we may pardon anyone 37 
after the example set by Varro. 1 For he tried to 
persuade Cicero, to whom he dedicated his work, 
that a field was called agcr because something is 
done in it (agitur}, and jackdaws graculos because 
they fly in flocks (gregafini), in spite of the obvious 
fact that the first word is derived from the Greek, 
the latter from the cry of the bird in question. 
But Varro had such a passion for derivations that he 38 
derived the name merula "a blackbird' from mera 
uolans on the ground that it flies alone ! Some 
scholars do not hesitate to have recourse to etymology 
for the origin of every word, deriving names such as 
Rufus or Longus from the appearance of their 
possessor, verbs such as strepere or munnurare from 
the sounds which they represent, and even ex- 
tending this practice to certain derivatives, making 
uelox for instance find its origin in uelocitas, 2 as well 
as to compounds and the like : now although such 
words doubtless have an origin, no special science is 



egent, cuius in hoc opere non est usus nisi in 

39 Verba a vetustate repetita non sol um magnos 
assertores habent sed etiam adferunt orationi inaies- 
tatem aliquam non sine delectatione ; nam et auc- 
toritatem antiquitatis habent et, quia intermissa 

40 sunt, gratiam novitati similem parant. Sed opus 
est modo, ut neque crebra sint haec neque mani- 
festa, quia nihil est odiosius adfectatione, nee utique 
ab ultimis et iam oblitteratis repetita temporibus, 
qualia sunt topper et antegerio et exanclare et prosapia 
et Saliorum carmina vix sacerdotibus suis satis 

41 intellecta. Sed ilia mutari vetat religio et conse- 
cratis utendum est ; oratio vero, cuius summa virtus 
est perspicuitas, quam sit vitiosa, si egeat interprete ? 
Ergo, ut novorum optima erunt maxime vetera, ita 
veterum maxime nova. 

42 Similis circa auctoritatem ratio. Nam etiamsi 
potest videri nihil peccare, qui utitur iis verbis, 
quae summi auctores tradiderunt, multum tamen 
refert non solum, quid dixerint, sed etiam quid 
persuaserint. Neque enim tuburchinabundum et 
lurchinabundurn iam in nobis quisquam ferat, licet 
Cato sit auctor, nee hos lodices, quanquam id Pollioni 
placet, nee gladiola, atqui Messala dixit, nee par- 


BOOK I. vi. 38-42 

required to detect it, since it is only doubtful cases 
that demand the intervention of the etymologist. 

Archaic words not only enjoy the patronage of 39 
distinguished authors, but also give style a certain 
majesty and charm. For they have the authority of 
age behind them, and for the very reason that they 
have fallen into desuetude, produce an attractive 
effect not unlike that of novelty. But such words 40 
must be used sparingly and must not thrust them- 
selves upon our notice, since there is nothing more 
tiresome than affectation, nor above all must thev be 
drawn from remote and forgotten ages : I refer to 
words such as topper, " quite," antegerio, " exceed- 
ingly," exanclare, "to exhaust," prosapia, "a race" 
and the language of the Salian Hymns now scarcely 
understood by its own priests. Religion, it is true, 41 
forbids us to alter the words of these hymns and 
we must treat them as sacred things. But what a 
faulty thing is speech, whose prime virtue is clear- 
ness, if it requires an interpreter to make its meaning 
plain ! Consequently in the case of old words the 
best will be those that are newest, just as in the 
case of new words the best will be the oldest. 

The same arguments apply to authority. For 42 
although the use of words transmitted to us by the 
best authors may seem to preclude the possibility 
of error, it is important to notice not merely what 
they said, but what words they succeeded in sanction- 
ing. For no one to-day would introduce words such 
as tuburchinabundus, " voracious," or lurchinabundus, 
"guzzling," although they have the authority of 
Cato ; nor make lodices, "blankets," masculine, 
though Pollio preferred that gender; nor say gladi- 
ola, "small swords," though Messalaused this plural, 


ricidatum, quod in Caelio vix tolerabile videtur, nee 
collos mihi Calvus persuaserit ; quae nee ipsi iam 

43 Superest igitur consuetude ; nam fuerit paene 
ridiculum malle sermonem, quo locuti sint homines, 
quam quo loquantur. Et sane quid est aliud vetus 
sermo quam vetus loquendi consuetude? Sed huic 
ipsi necessarium est iudicium, constituendumque in 
primis id ipsum quid sit, quod consuetudinem 

44 vocemus. Quae si ex eo, quod plures faciunt, 
nomen accipiat, periculosissimum dabit praeceptum, 
non orationi modo sed (quod mains est) vitae. 
Unde enim tantum boni, ut pluribus quae recta 
sunt placeant? Igitur ut velli et comam in gradus 
frangere et in balneis perpotare, quamlibet haec 
invaserint civitatem, non erit consuetude, quia 
nihil horum caret reprehensione ; at lavamur et 
tondemur et convivimus ex consuetudine : sic in 
loquendo, non si quid vitiose multis insederit, pro 

45 regula sermonis accipiendum erit. Nam, ut trans- 
earn, quemadmodum vulgo imperiti loquantur, 
tota saepe theatra et omnem circi turbam exclam- 
asse barbare scimus. Ergo consuetudinem sermonis 
vocabo consensum eruditorum, sicut vivendi consen- 
sum bonorum. 


BOOK I. vi. 42-45 

nor parricidatus for parricide, a form which can 
scarcely be tolerated even in Caelius, nor will Calvus 
persuade me to speak of collos, " necks." Indeed, 
were these authors alive to-day, they would never 
use such words. 

Usage remains to be discussed. For it would be 43 
almost laughable to prefer the language of the 
past to that of the present day, and what is ancient 
speech but ancient usage of speaking ? But even 
here the critical faculty is necessary, and we must 
make up our minds what we mean by usage. If it 44 
be defined merely as the practice of the majority, 
we shall have a very dangerous rule affecting not 
merely style but life as well, a far more serious 
matter. For where is so much good to be found that 
what is right should please the majority ? The 
practices of depilation, of dressing the hair in 
tiers, or of drinking to excess at the baths, although 
they may have thrust their way into society, can- 
not claim the support of usage, since there is some- 
thing to blame in all of them (although we have 
usage on our side when we bathe or have our 
hair cut or take our meals together). So too in 
speech we must not accept as a rule of language 
words and phrases that have become a vicious habit 
with a number of persons. To say nothing of the 45 
language of the uneducated, we are all of us well 
aware that whole theatres and the entire crowd of 
spectators will often commit barbarisms in the cries 
which they utter as one man. I will therefore define 
usage in speech as the agreed practice of educated 
men, just as where our way of life is concerned I 
should define it as the agreed practice of all good 



VII. Nunc, quoniam diximus, quae sit loquendi 
regula, dicendum, quae scribentibus custodienda, 
quod Graeci 6p6oypa<f>Lav vocant ; hoc nos recte scri- 
bendi scientiam nominemus. Cuius ars non in hoc 
posita est, ut ncverimus,quibus quaeque syllaba litteris 
constet (nani id quidem infra grammatici officium 
est), sed totam, ut mea fert opinio, subtilitatem in 

2 dubiis habet. Ut longis syllabis omnibus apponere 
apicem ineptissimum est, quia plurimae natura ipsa 
verbi quod scribitur patent, sed interim necessarium, 
cum eadem littera alium atque alium intellectum, 
prout correpta vel producta est, facit ; ut mains 
arborem significat an hominem non bonum apice 

3 distinguitur, palus aliud priore syllaba longa aliud 
sequenti significat, et cum eadem littera nominative 
casu brevis, ablative longa est, utrum sequamur, 

4 plerumque hac nota monendi sumus. Similiter 
putaverunt ilia quoque servanda discrimina, ut ex 
praepositionem, si verbum sequeretur specto, adiecta 
secundae syllabae s littera, si pecto, remota scribere- 

5 mus. Ilia quoque servata est a multis differentia, 
ut ad, cum esset praepositio, d litteram, cum autem 
coniunctio, t acciperet, itemque cum, si tempus signi- 
ficaret, per qu, si comitem, per c ac duas sequentes 

6 scriberetur. Frigidiora his alia, ut quidquid c quar- 
tam haberet, ne interrogare bis videremur ; et 


BOOK I. vn. 1-6 

VII. Having stated the rules which we must 
follow in speaking, I will now proceed to lay down 
the rules which must be observed when we write. 
Such rules are called orthography by the Greeks ; let 
us style it the science of writing correctly. This 
science does not consist merely in the knowledge of 
the letters composing each syllable (such a study 
is beneath the dignity of a teacher of grammar), 
but, in my opinion, develops all its subtlety in con- 
nexion with doubtful points. For instance, while it 2 
is absurd to place a circumflex over all long syllables 
since the quantity of most syllables is obvious from 
the very nature of the word which is written, it is 
all the same occasionally necessary, since the same 
letter involves a different meaning according as it is 
long or short. For example we determine whether 
mains is to mean an "apple tree" or a "bad man" by 
the use of the circumflex ; palus means a "stake/' if 3 
the first syllable is long, a "marsh," if it be short ; 
again when the same letter is short in the nominative 
and long in the ablative, we generally require the 
circumflex to make it clear which quantity to under- 
stand. Similarly it has been held that we should 4 
observe distinctions such as the following : if the 
preposition ex is compounded with specto, there will 
be an s in the second syllable, while there will be no 
s if it is compounded with pecto. Again the follow- 5 
ing distinction has frequently been observed : ad is 
spelt with a d when it is a preposition, but with a t 
when it is a conjunction, while cum is spelt quvm 
when it denotes time, but cum when it denotes 
accompaniment. Still more pedantic are the practices 6 
of making the fourth letter of quidquid a c to avoid 
the appearance of repeating a question, and of writing 



quotidie non cotidie, ut sit quot diebus. Verum haec 
iam etiam inter ipsas ineptias evanuerunt. 

7 Quaeri solet, in scribendo praepositiones sonum 
quern iunctae efficiunt, an quern separatae, observare 
conveniat ut, cum dico optinuit (secundam enim 6 

8 litteram ratio poscit, aures magis audiunt p) et 
immunis, illud enim, quod veritas exigit, sequentis 

9 syllabae sono victum m gemina commutatur. Est 
et in dividendis verbis observatio, mediam litteram 
consonantem priori an sequent! syllabae adiungas : 
haruspex enim, quia pars eius posterior a spectando 
est, s litteram tertiae dabit; abstemius, quia ex 
abstinentia temeti composita vox est, primae re- 

10 linquet. Nam k quidem in nullis verbis utendum 
puto, nisi quae signirtcat, etiam ut sola ponatur. 
Hoc eo non omisi, quod quidam earn, quotiens 
a sequatur, necessariam credunt, cum sit c littera, 
quae ad omnes vocal es vim suam perferat. 

11 Verum orthographia quoque consuetudini servit, 
ideoque saepe mutata est. Nam ilia vetustissima 
transeo tempora, quibus et pauciores litterae nee 
similes his nostris earum formae fuerunt et vis 
quoque diversa, sicut a pud Graecos o litterae, quae 
interim longa ac brevis ut apud nos, interim pro 

1 K may stand for Kalendae, Kaeso, Karthago, Kalumnia, 

1 The original alphabet consisted of twenty-one letters, 
and was increased to twenty-three by the addition of y 
and z. 


BOOK I. vn. 6-1 1 

quotidie instead of colidie to show that it stands for 
quot diebus. But such practices have disappeared 
into the limbo of absurdities. 

It is often debated whether in our spelling of 7 
prepositions we should be guided by their sound 
when compounded, or separate. For instance when 
I say optinuit, logic demands that the second 
letter should be a 6, while to the ear the sound is 
rather that of p : or again take the case of immunis : 8 
the letter n, which is required by strict adherence to 
fact, is forced by the sound of the m which follows 
to change into another m. We must also note when 9 
analysing compound words, whether the middle 
consonant adheres to the preceding syllable or to 
that which follows. For example since the latter 
part of haruspex is from speclare, the s must be 
assigned to the third syllable. In abstrmius on the 
other hand it will go with the first syllable since the 
word is derived from abstinentia temeti, " abstention 
from wine." As for k my view is that it should not 10 
be used at all except in such words as may be indi- 
cated by the letter standing alone as an abbreviation. 1 
I mention the fact because some hold that k should 
be used whenever the next letter is an a, despite 
the existence of the letter c which maintains its 
force in conjunction with all the vowels. 

Orthography, however, is also the servant of usage 1 1 
and therefore undergoes frequent change. I make 
no mention of the earliest times when our alphabet 
contained fewer letters 2 and their shapes differed 
from those which we now use, while their values also 
were different. For instance in Greek the letter o 
was sometimes long and short, as it is with us, and 
again was sometimes used to express the syllable 



12 syllaba quam nomine suo exprimit posita est ; uta 
Latinis veteribus d plurimis in verbis adiectam 
ultimam, quod manifestum est etiam ex columna 
rostrata, quae est Duilio in foro posita ; interim g 
quoque, ut in pulvinari Solis, qui colitur iuxta aedem 

13 Quirini, resperug, quod vesperugincm accipimus. De 
mutatione etiam litterarum, de qua supra dixi, nihil 
repetere hie necesse est, fortasse enim sicut scribe- 

14 bant etiam loquebantur. Semivocales geminare diu 
non fuit usitatissimi moris, atque e contrario usque 
ad Accium et ultra porrectas syllabas geminis, ut 

15 dixi, vocalibus scripserunt. Diutius duravit, ut e et 
i iungendis eadem ratione qua Graeci ct uterentur; 
ea casibus nurnerisque discreta est,, ut Lucilius prae- 
cipit : lam puerei venere, e poslremum facito atque i, 
Ut pueri plures fiant ; ac deinceps idem : Mendaci 

16 furique addes e, cum dare furi lusseris. Quod quidem 
cum supervacuum est, quia i tarn longae quam brevis 
naturam habet, turn incommodum aliquando. Nam 
in iis, quae proximam ub ultima litteram e habebunt 
et i longa terminabuntur, illam rationem sequentes 
utemur e gemina, qualia sunt haec aurei, argentei et 

17 his similia. Idque iis praecipue, qui ad lectionem 
instituentur, etiam impedimento erit ; sicut in 

1 i.e. the interjection ! 

2 The ablative originally terminated in d ; e.g. pugnandod, 
marid, navaled, pracdad, etc., on the base of the column of 

3 i. iv. 12-17. * e.g. iusi was written for iussi. 


BOOK I. vii. 11-17 

which is identical with its name. 1 And in Latin 12 
ancient writers ended a number of words with d, as 
may be seen on the column adorned with the beaks 
of ships, which was set up in the forum in honour 
of Duilius. 2 Sometimes again they gave words a 
final g, as we may still see in the shrine of the Sun, 
close to the temple of Quirinus, where we find the 
word uesperug, which we write uesperugo (evening 
star). I have already spoken of the interchange 13 
of letters 3 and need not repeat my remarks here: 
perhaps their pronunciation corresponded with their 
spelling. For a long time the doubling of semi- 14 
vowels was avoided, 4 while down to the time of 
Accius and beyond, long syllables were indicated by 
repetition of the vowel. The practice of joining e 15 
and i as in the Greek diphthong a lasted longer : it 
served to distinguish cases and numbers, for which 
we may compare the instructions of Lucilius : 

The boys are come : why then, their names must 

With e and t to make them more than one ; 

and later 

If to a thief and liar (mendaci furique) you would 

In e and i your thief must terminate. 


But this addition of e is quite superfluous, since i 16 
can be long no less than short : it is also at times 
inconvenient. For in those words which end in i 
and have e as their last letter but one, we shall on 
this principle have to write e twice : I refer to words 
such as aurei or argentei and the like. Now such a 17 
practice will be an actual hindrance to those who are 
learning to read. This difficulty occurs in Greek as 


Graecis accidit adiectione t litterae, quam non solum 
dativis casibus in parte ultima ascribunt sed qui- 
busdam etiam interponunt, ut in AHI2THI, quia 
etymologia ex div'isione in tris syllabas facta desideret 

18 earn litteram. Ae syllabam, cuius secundam nunc e 
litteram ponimus, varie per a et i efferebant ; quidam 
semper ut Graeci, quidam singulariter tantum, cum 
in dativum vel genitivum casum incidissent, unde 
pictai vestis et aquai Vergilius amantissimus vettistatis 

19 carminibus inseruit. In iisdem plurali numero e 
utebantur, hi Syllae, Galbae. Est in hac quoque 
parte Lucilii praeceptum, quod quia pluribus expli- 
catur versibus, si quis parum credet, apud ipsum in 

20 nono requirat. Quid quod Ciceronis temporibus 
paulumque infra, fere quotiens s littera media 
vocalium longarum vel subiecta longis esset, gemina- 
batur, ut caussae, cassus, divissiones ? quomodo et 
ipsum et Vergilium quoque scripsisse manus eorum 

21 docent. Atqui paulum superiores etiam illud, quod 
nos gemina dicimus iussi, una dixerunt. lam optimus 
maximus, ut mediam i litteram, quae veteribus u 
fuerat, acciperent, Gai primum Caesaris inscriptione 

22 traditur factum. Here nunc e littera terminamus, at 
veterum comicorum adhuc libris invenio Heri ad me 
venit ; quod idem in epistolis Augusti, quas sua manu 

23 scripsit aut emendavit, deprehenditur. Quid? non 
Cato Censorius dicam t&faciam dicem et faciem scrip- 

1 The noun being formed from \-n't<a. AHI2THI in the text 
is dative after in. The trisyllable to which Q. refers is the 
nominative. 2 Aen. ix. 26 and vii. 464. 


BOOK I. vn. 17-23 

well in connexion with the addition of an iota, which 
is employed not merely in the termination of the 
dative, but is sometimes found in the middle of 
words as in ATJ'CTTT;?, for the reason that the analysis 
applied by etymology shows the word to be a tri- 
syllable l and requires the addition of that letter. 
The diphthong ae now written with an e, was pro- IS 
nounced in old days as ai ; some wrote ai in all cases, 
as in Greek, others confined its use to the dative and 
genitive singular ; whence it comes that Vergil, 2 
always a passionate lover of antiquity, inserted pictai 
uestis and aquai in his poems. But in the plural they 19 
used e and wrote Syllae, Galbae. Lucilius has given 
instructions on this point also ; his instructions 
occupy quite a number of verses, for which the 
incredulous may consult his ninth book. Again in 20 
Cicero's days and a little later, it was the almost 
universal practice to write a double s, whenever that 
letter occurred between two long vowels or after a 
long vowel, as for example in caussae, cassus, diuissiones. 
That he and Vergil both used this spelling is shown 
by their own autograph manuscripts. And yet at 21 
a slightly earlier date iussi which we write with a 
double s was spelt with only one. Further optimus 
maximus, which older writers spelt with a u, ap- 
pear for the first time with an i (such at any rate 
is the tradition) in an inscription of Gaius Caesar. 3 
We now write here, but I still find in manuscripts of 22 
the old comic poets phrases such as heri ad me uenitf 
and the same spelling is found in letters of Augustus 
written or corrected by his own hand. Again did 23 
not Cato the censor spell dicam and faciam as dicem 

3 Caligula, the first of the Caesars to adopt this title. 

4 Ter. Phorm. 36. 



sit, eundemque in ceteris, quae similiter cadunt, 
moduni teiiuit, quod et ex veteribus eius libris maiii- 
festum est et a Messala in libro de s littera posituni ? 

24 Sibe et quase scri])tum in multorum libris est, sed an 
hoc voluerint auctores, nescio ; T. Livium ita his 
usum ex Pediano comperi, qui et ipse eum seque- 

25 batur ; liaec nos i littera finimus. Quid dicam 
vortices et vorsus ceteraque ad eundem modum, quae 
primus Scipio Africanus in e litteram secundam 

26 vertisse dicitur ? Nostri praeceptores seruum ceru- 
Mwque u et o litteris scripserunt, quia subiecta sibi 
vocalis in uiium sonum coalescere et confundi 
nequiret ; nunc u gemma scribuntur ea ratione, 
quam reddidi ; neutro sane modo vox, quam sen- 
timus, efficitur. Nee inutiliter Claudius Aeolicam 

27 illam ad hos usus litteram adieeerat. Illud nunc 
melius, quod cui tribus, quas praeposui, litteris 
enotamus; in quo pueris nobis ad pinguem sane 
sonum qu et oi utebantur, tantum ut ab illo qui 

28 Quid? quae scribuntur aliter quam enuntiantur? 
Nam et Gains C littera significatur, quae inversa 
mulierem declarat ; quia tarn Galas esse vocitatas 
quam Gaios etiam ex nuptialibus sacris apparet. 

29 Nee Gnaeus earn litteram in praenomiiiis nota accipit, 
quae sonat; et colunmam et consules exempta n littera 

1 cp. i. iv. 8. 

2 The bride used the formula ubi tu Gains, ibi ego Gaia. 


BOOK I. vir. 23-29 

and Jaciem and observe the same practice in words of 
similar termination ? This is clear from old manu- 
scripts of his works and is recorded by Mes.sala in 
his treatise on the letter s. Sibe and quase are found 24 
in many books, but I cannot say whether the 
authors wished them to be spelt thus : I learn from 
Pedianus that Livy, whose precedent he himself 
adopted, used this spelling : to-day we make these 
words end with an i. What shall I say of uorttces, 25 
uorsus and the like, which Scipio Africanus is said 
to have been the first to spell with an e? My own 26 
teachers spelt sennit and ceruus with a uo, in order 
that the repetition of the vowel might not lead to 
the coalescence and confusion of the two sounds : 
to-day however we write these words with a double 
u on the principle which I have already stated : 
neither spelling however exactly expresses the pro- 
nunciation. It was not without reason that Claudius 
introduced the Aeolic digamma to represent this 
sound. 1 It is a distinct improvement that to-day we 27 
spell cui as I have written it : when I was a boy it 
used to be spelt quoi, giving it a very full sound, 
merely to distinguish it from qui. 

Again, what of words whose spelling is at variance 28 
with their pronunciation ? For instance C is used as 
an abbreviation for Gaius, and when inverted stands 
for a woman, for as we know from the words of the 
marriage service women used to be called Gaiae, 
just as men were called Gaii. 2 Gnaeus too in the 29 
abbreviation indicating the praenomen is spelt in a 
manner which does not agree with its pronunciation. 
We also find columna 3 and consul spelt without an n, 

3 columa is mentioned by the grammarian Pompeius as a 
barbarism in the fifth century, cp. dimin. columella. Con- 
sul is abbreviated cos. 



legimus ; et Subura, cum tribus litteris notatur, c 
tertiam ostendit. Multa sunt generis huius ; sed 
haec quoque vereor ne modum tarn parvae quaestionis 

30 ludicium autem suum grammaticus interponat his 
omnibus; nam hoc valere plurimum debet. Ego 
(nisi quod consuetude obtinuerit) sic scribendum 

31 quidque iudico, quomodo sonat. Hie enim est usus 
litterarum, ut custodiant voces et velut depositum 
reddant legentibus, itaque id exprimere debent quod 

32 dicturi sumus. Hae fere sunt emendate loquendi 
scribendique partes ; duas reliquas significanter 
ornateque dicendi non equidem grammaticis aufero, 
sed cum mihi officia rhetoris supersint, maiori operi 

33 Redit autem ilia cogitatio, quosdam fore, qui haec 
quae diximus parva nimium et impedimenta quoque 
maius aliquid agentibus putent. Nee ipse ad ex- 
tremam usque anxietatem et ineptas cavillationes 
descendendum atque iis ingenia concidi et comminui 

34 credo. Sed nihil ex grammatice nocuerit, nisi quod 
supervacuum est. An ideo minor est M. Tullius 
orator, quod idem artis huius diligentissimus fuit et 
in filio (ut epistolis apparet) recte loquendi asper 
quoque exactor? aut vim C. Caesaris fregerunt editi 

35 de analogia libri ? aut ideo minus Messala nitidus, 

1 The original name was Sucusa. 

BOOK I. vn. 29-35 

while Subura when indicated by three letters is spelt 
Sue. 1 I could quote many other examples of this, 
but I fear that I have already said too much on so 


trivial a theme. 

On all such subjects the teacher must use his own 30 
judgment; for in such matters it should be the 
supreme authority. For my own part, I think that, 
within the limits prescribed by usage, words should 
be spelt as they are pronounced. For the use of 31 
letters is to preserve the sound of words and to 
deliver them to readers as a sacred trust : conse- 
quently they ought to represent the pronunciation 
which we are to use. These are the more important 32 
points in connexion with writing and speaking 
correctly. I do not go so far as to deny to the 
teacher of literature all part in the two remain- 
ing departments of speaking and writing with 
elegance and significance, but I reserve these for a 
more important portion of this work, as I have still 
to deal with the duties of the teacher of rhetoric. 

I am however haunted by the thought that some 33 
readers will regard what I have said as trivial details 
which are only likely to prove a hindrance to those 
who are intent upon a greater task ; and I myself 
do not think that we should go so far as to lose our 
sleep of nights or quibble like fools over such 
minutiae ; for such studies make mincemeat of the 
mind. But it is only the superfluities of grammar 34 
that do any harm. I ask you, is Cicero a less great 
orator for having given this science his diligent 
attention or for having, as his letters show, demanded 
rigid correctness of speech from his son ? Or was the 
vigour of Gaius Caesar's eloquence impaired by the 
publication of a treatise on Analogy ? Or the polish 35 


quia quosdam totos libellos non verbis modo sin- 
gulis sed etiam litteris dedit? Non obstant hae 
disciplinae per illas euntibus sed circa illas 

VIII. Superest lectio, in qua puer ut sciat, ubi 
suspendere spiritum debeat, quo loco versum dis- 
tinguere, ubi claudatur sensus, unde incipiat, quando 
attollenda vel summittenda sit vox, quo quidque flexu, 
quid lentius, celerius, concitatius, lenius dicendum, 

2 demonstrari nisi in opere ipso non potest. Unum 
est igitur, quod in hac parte praecipiam : ut omnia 
ista facere possit, intelligat. Sit autem in primis 
lectio virilis et cum suavitate quadam gravis et non 
quidem prosae similis, quia et carmen est et se 
poetae canere testantur ; non tamen in canticum 
dissoluta nee plasmate (ut nunc a plerisque fit) 
effeminata ; de quo genere optime C. Caesarern 
praetextatum adhuc accepimus dixisse : Si cantos, 

3 male cantas ; si legis, cantas. Nee prosopopoeias, ut 
quibusdam placet, ad comicum morem pronuntiari 
velim ; esse tamen flexum quendam, quo distingu- 
antur ab iis, in quibus poeta persona sua utetur. 

4 Cetera admonitione magna egent, in primis, ut 
tenerae mentes tracturaeque altius, quid quid rudibus 


BOOK I. vn. 35-vm. 4 

of Messala dimmed by the fact that he devoted 
whole books to the discussion not merely of 
single words, but of single letters ? Such studies do 
no harm to those who but pass through them : it is 
only the pedantic stickler who suffers. 

VIII. Reading remains for consideration. In 
this connexion there is much that can only be 
taught in actual practice, as for instance when the 
boy should take breath, at what point he should 
introduce a pause into a line, where the sense ends 
or begins, when the voice should be raised or 
lowered, what modulation should be given to each 
phrase, and when he should increase or slacken 
speed, or speak with greater or less energy. In 2 
this portion of my work I will give but one golden 
rule : to do all these things, he must understand 
what he reads. But above all his reading must be 
manly, combining dignity and charm ; it must be 
different from the reading of prose, for poetry is 
song and poets claim to be singers. But this fact 
does not justify degeneration into sing-song or the 
effeminate modulations now in vogue : there is an 
excellent saying on this point attributed to Gaius 
Caesar while he was still a boy : "If you are singing, 
you sing badly : if you are reading, you sing." 
Again I do not, like some teachers, wish character 3 
as revealed by speeches to be indicated as it is by 
the comic actor, though I think that there should 
be some modulation of the voice to distinguish such 
passages from those where the poet is speaking in 
person. There are other points where there is much 4 
need of instruction : above all, unformed minds 
which are liable to be all the more deeply impressed 
by what they learn in their days of childish 



et omnium ignaris insederit, non modo quae diserta 
sed vel magis quae honesta sunt, discant. 

5 Ideoque optime institutum est, ut ab Homero 
atque Vergilio lectio inciperet, quanquam ad intelli- 
gendas eorum virtutes firmiore iudicio opus est ; sed 
huic rei superest tempus, neque enim semel legentur. 
Interim et sublimitate heroi carminis animus adsurgat 
et ex magnitudine rerum spiritum ducat et optimis 

6 imbuatur. Utiles tragoediae, alunt et lyrici ; si 
tamen in his non auctores modo sed etiam partes 
operis elegeris, nam et Graeci licenter multa et 
Horatium nolim in quibusdam interpretari. Elegia 
vero, utique quae amat, et hendecasyllabi, qui sunt 
commata Sotad eorum (nam de Sotadeis ne praeci- 
piendum quidem est) amoveantur, si fieri potest, 
si minus,, certe ad firmius aetatis robur reserventur. 

7 Comoediae, quae plurimum conferre ad eloquentiam 
potest, cum per omnes et personas et adfectus eat, 
quern usum in pueris putem, paulo post suo loco 
dicam ; nam cum mores in tuto fuerint, inter prae- 
cipua legenda erit. De Menandro loquor, nee tamen 

8 excluserim alios. Nam Latini quoque auctores 
adferent utilitatis aliquid. Sed pueris, quae maxime 

1 One form of Sotadean is _ w _ w ^ w . 

The Hendecasyllable runs ~ ^ ^ _ ^ _ v. 

Sotadean minus the first three syllables. Both metres were 
frequently used for indecent lampoons. For Sotades see 

2 sc. ch. xL 


BOOK I. vni. 4-8 

ignorance, must learn not merely what is eloquent ; 
it is even more important that they should study 
what is morally excellent. 

It is therefore an admirable practice which now 
prevails, to begin by reading Homer and Vergil, 
although the intelligence needs to be further devel- 
oped for the full appreciation of their merits : but 
there is plenty of time for that since the boy will 
read them more than once. In the meantime let his 
mind be lifted by the sublimity of heroic verse, 
inspired by the greatness of its theme and imbued 
with the loftiest sentiments. The reading of tragedy 
also is useful, and lyric poets will provide nourish- 
ment for the mind, provided not merely the authors 
be carefully selected, but also the passages from 
their works which are to be read. For the Greek lyric 
poets are often licentious and even in Horace there 
are passages which I should be unwilling to explain 
to a class. Elegiacs, however, more especially erotic 
elegy, and hendecasyllables, which are merely sections 
of Sotadean verse 1 (concerning which latter I need 
give no admonitions), should be entirely banished, if 
possible ; if not absolutely banished, they should be 
reserved for pupils of a less impressionable age. As to 
comedy, whose contribution to eloquence may be of 7 
no small importance, since it is concerned with every 
kind of character and emotion, I will shortly point 
out in its due place 2 what use can in my opinion 
be made of it in the education of boys. As soon as 
we have no fear of contaminating their morals, it 
should take its place among the subjects which it is 
specially desirable to read. I speak of Menander, 
though I would not exclude others. For Latin 8 
authors will also be of some service. But the 



ingenium alant atque animum augeant, praelegenda ; 
ceteris, quae ad eruditionem modo pertinent, longa 
aetas spatium dabit. Multuni autem veteres etiam 
Latini conferunt, (quanquam plerique plus ingenio 
quani arte valuerunt) in primis copiam verborum, 
quorum in tragoediis gravitas, in comoediis elegantia 
9 et quidam velut drTtKtcr/xos inveniri potest. Oeco- 
nomia quoque in iis diligentior quani in plerisque 
novorum erit, qui omnium operum solam virtutem 
sententias putaverunt. Sanctitas certe et, ut sic 
dicam, virilitas ab iis petenda est, quando nos in 
omnia deliciarum vitia dicendi quoque ratione de- 

10 fluximus. Denique credamus summis oratoribus, 
qui veterum poemata vel ad fidem causarum vel 
ad ornamentum eloquentiae adsumunt. Nam prae- 

1 1 cipue quidem apud Ciceronem frequenter tamen apud 
Asinium etiam et ceteros, qui sunt proximi, videmus 
Enni, Acci, Pacuvi, Lucili, Terenti, Caecili et aliorum 
inseri versus summa non eruditionis modo gratia sed 
etiam iucunditatis, cum poeticis voluptatibus aures a 

12 forensi asperitate respirent. Quibus accedit non 
mediocris utilitas, cum sententiis eorum velut quibus- 
dam testimoniis quae proposuere confirment. Verum 
priora ilia ad pueros magis, haec sequentia ad robusti- 

BOOK I. viii. 8-12 

subjects selected for lectures to boys should be those 
which will enlarge the mind and provide the great- 
est nourishment to the intellect. Life is quite long 
enough for the subsequent study of those other sub- 
jects which are concerned with matters of interest 
solely to learned men. But even the old Latin poets 
may be of great value, in spite of the fact that their 
strength lies in their natural talent rather than in 
their art : above all they will contribute richness 
of vocabulary : for the vocabulary of the tragedians 
is full of dignity, while in that of the comedians 
there is a certain elegance and Attic grace. They 9 
are, too, more careful about dramatic structure than 
the majority of moderns, who regard epigram as the 
sole merit of every kind of literary work. For 
purity at any rate and manliness, if I may say so, 
we must certainly go to these writers, since to-day 
even our style of speaking is infected with all the 
faults of modern decadence. Finally we may derive 10 
confidence from the practice of the greatest orators 
of drawing upon the early poets to support their 
arguments or adorn their eloquence. For we find, 11 
more especially in the pages of Cicero, but frequent- 
ly in Asinius and other orators of that period, quota- 
tions from Ennius, Accius, Pacuvius, Lucilius, Terence, 
Caecilius and others, inserted not merely to show 
the speaker's learning, but to please his hearers 
as well, since the charms of poetry provide a plea- 
sant relief from the severity of forensic eloquence. 
Such quotations have the additional advantage of 12 
helping the speaker's case, for the orator makes use 
of the sentiments expressed by the poet as evidence 
in support of his own statements. But while my 
earlier remarks have special application to the 
education of boys, those which I have just made 


ores pertinebunt, cum grammatices amor et usus 
lectionis non scholarum temporibuSj sed vitae spatio 

13 In praelegendo grammaticus et ilia quidem minora 
praestare debebit, ut partes orationis reddi sibi soluto 
versu desideret et pedum proprietates, quae adeo 
debent esse notae in carminibus, ut etiam in oratoria 
compositione desiderentur. Deprehendat, quae 
barbara, quae impropria, quae contra leges loquendi 

14 sint posita ; non ut ex iis utique improbentur 
poetae (quibus, quia plerumque servire metro 
coguntur, adeo ignoscitur, ut vitia ipsa aliis in car- 
mine appellationibus nominentur ; metaplasmos 
enim et schematismos et schemata, ut dixi, vocamus, 
et laudem virtutis necessitati damus), sed ut com- 

15 moneat artificialium et memoriam agitet. Id quoque 
inter prima rudimenta non inutile demonstrare, 
quot quaeque verba modis intelligenda sint. Circa 
glossemata etiam, id est voces minus usitatas, non 

16 ultima eius professionis diligentia est. Enimvero 
iam maiore cura doceat tropos omnes, quibus prae- 
cipue non poema modo sed etiam oratio ornatur ; 
schemata utraque, id est figuras, quaeque A.eeo>s 
quaeque otai'otas vocantur, quorum ego sicut tro- 

1 The formation of cases of nouns and tenses of verbs from 
a n<-,n-existent nom. or pres. : or more generally any change 
in the forms of a word. 

2 schematismus and schemata botli seem to mean the same, 
sc. figures. 3 See Book VIII. chap. vi. 

BOOK I. vin. 12-16 

apply rather to persons of riper years ; for the love of 
letters and the value of reading are not confined to 
one's schooldays, but end only with life. 

In lecturing the teacher of literature must give 13 
attention to minor points as well : he will ask his 
class after analysing a verse to give him the parts of 
speech and the peculiar features of the feet which 
it contains : these latter should be so familiar in 
poetry as to make their presence desired even in 
the prose of oratory. He will point out what words 
are barbarous, what improperly used, and what are 
contrary to the laws of language. He will not do 14 
this by way of censuring the poets for such pecu- 
liarities, for poets are usually the servants of their 
metres and are allowed such licence that faults 
are given ether names when they occur in poetry : 
for w r e style them metaplasms, 1 schematisms and 
schemata? as I have said, and make a virtue of 
necessity. Their aim will rather be to familiarise the 
pupil with the artifices of style and to stimulate his 
memory. Further in the elementary stages of such 15 
instruction it will not be unprofitable to show the 
different meanings which may be given to each word. 
With regard to glossemata, that is to say words not 
in common use, the teacher must exercise no ordi- 
nary diligence, while still greater care is required in 16 
teaching all the tropes 3 which are employed for the 
adornment more especially of poetry, but of oratory 
as well, and in making his class acquainted with the 
two sorts of schemata or figures known as ^figures of 
speech and ^figures of thought* I shall however post- 

4 vSee Book IX. chaps, i. and ii. A trope is an expression 
used in a sense which it cannot strictly bear. A figure is a 
form of speech differing from the ordinary method of expres- 
sion ; see ix i. 4. 



porum tractatum in eum locum differo, quo mi hi de 

17 ornatu orationis dicendum erit. Praecipue vero ilia 
inngat animis, quae in oeconomia virtus, quae in 
decore rerum, quid personae cuique convenerit, quid 
in sensibus laudandurn, quid in verbis, ubi copia 
probabilis, ubi modus. 

18 His accedet enarratio historiaruin, diligens quidem 
Ula non tamen usque ad supervacuum laborem oc- 
cupata. Nam receptas aut certe claris auctoribus 
memoratas exj)osuisse satis est. Persequi quidem, 
quid quis unquam vel contemptissimorum hominum 
dixerit, aut nimiae miseriae aut inanis iactantiae est 
et detinet atque obruit ingenia melius aliis vacatura. 

19 Nam qui omnes etiam indignas lection e scidas ex- 
cutit, anilibus quoque fabulis accommodare operam 
potest. Atqui pleni sunt huiusmodi impedimentis 
grammaticorum commentarii, vix ipsis qui compo- 

20 suerunt satis noti. Nam Didymo, quo nemo plura 
scripsit, accidisse compertum est, ut, cum historiae 
cuidam tanquam vanae repugnaret, ipsius proferretur 

21 liber^ qui earn continebat. Quod evenit praecipue 
in fabulosis usque ad deridicula quaedam, quaedam 
etiam pudenda ; unde improbissimo cuique pleraque 
fingendi licentia est, adeo ut de libris totis et aucto- 


BOOK I. vni. 16-21 

pone discussion of tropes and figures till I come to 
deal with the various ornaments of style. Above 17 
all he will impress upon their minds the value of 
proper arrangement, and of graceful treatment of 
the matter in hand : he will show what is appropriate 
to the various characters, what is praiseworthy in the 
thoughts or words, where copious diction is to be 
commended and where restraint. 

In addition to this he will explain the various 18 
stories that occur : this must be done with care, 
but should not be encumbered with superfluous 
detail. For it is sufficient to set forth the version 
which is generally received or at any rate rests upon 
good authority. But to ferret out everything that 
has ever been said on the subject even by the most 
worthless of writers is a sign of tiresome pedantry 
or empty ostentation, and results in delaying and 
swamping the mind when it would be better 
employed on other themes. The man who pores 19 
over every page even though it be wholly unworthy 
of reading, is capable of devoting his attention 
to the investigation of old wives' tales. And yet 
the commentaries of teachers of literature are full 
of such encumbrances to learning and strangely 
unfamiliar to their own authors. It is, for instance, 20 
recorded that Didymus, who was unsurpassed for 
the number of books which he wrote, on one occasion 
objected to some story as being absurd, whereupon 
one of his own books was produced which contained 
the story in question. Such abuses occur chiefly in 21 
connexion with fabulous stories and are sometimes 
carried to ludicrous or even scandalous extremes : 
for in such cases the more unscrupulous commentator 
has such full scope for invention, that he can tell lies 



ribus, ut succurrit, mentiantur tuto, quia inveniri qui 
nunquam fuere non possunt : nam in notioribus 
frequentissime deprehenduntur a curiosis. Ex quo 
mihi inter virtutes grammatici habebitur aliqua 

IX. Et finitae quidem sunt partes duae, quas haec 
professio pollicetur, id est ratio loquendi et enarratio 
auctorum, quarum illam melhodicen hanc kistoricen 
vocant. Adiiciamus tamen eorum curae quaedam 
dicendi primordia, quibus aetates nondum rhetorem 

2 capientes instituant. Igitur Aesopi fabellas, quae 
fabulis nutricularum proxime succedunt, narrare ser- 
mone puro et nihil se supra raodum extollente, 
deinde eandem gracilitatem stilo exigere condiscant ; 
versus primo solvere, mox mutatis verbis interpretari, 
tum paraphrasi audacius vertere, qua et breviare 
quaedam et exornare salvo modo poetae sensu 

3 permittitur. Quod opus etiam consummatis pro- 
fessoribus difficile qui commode tractaverit, cuicun- 
que discendo sufficiet. Sententiae quoque et chriae 
et ethologiae subiectis dictorum rationibus apud 
grammaticos scribantur, quia initium ex lectione 
ducunt ; quorum omnium similis est ratio, forma 
diversa, quia sententia universalis est vox, ethologia 

1 The meaning of ethologia is doubtful, but probably means 
a simple character-sketch of some famous man. 

I 5 6 

BOOK I. vin. 2i-ix. 3 

to his heart's content about whole books and authors 
without fear of detection : for what never existed 
can obviously never be found, whereas if the subject 
is familiar the careful investigator will often detect 
the fraud. Consequently I shall count it a merit in 
a teacher of literature that there should be some 
things which he does not know. 

IX. I have now finished with two of the 
departments, with which teachers of literature pro- 
fess to deal, namely the art of speaking correctly 
and the interpretation of authors ; the former they 
call metkodice, the latter historice. We must however 
add to their activities instruction in certain rudiments 
of oratory for the benefit of those who are not yet 
ripe for the schools of rhetoric. Their pupils should 2 
learn to paraphrase Aesop's fables, the natural suc- 
cessors of the fairy stories of the nursery, in simple 
and restrained language and subsequently to set 
down this paraphrase in writing with the same sim- 
plicity of style : they should begin by analysing 
each verse, then give its meaning in different 
language, and finally proceed to a freer paraphrase in 
which they will be permitted now to abridge and 
now to embellish the original, so far as this may be 
done without losing the poet's meaning. This is no 3 
easy task even for the expert instructor, and the 
pupil who handles it successfully will be capable of 
learning everything. He should also be set to write 
aphorisms, moral essays (chriae) and delineations of char- 
acter (ethologiae\ } of which the teacher will first give 
the general scheme, since such themes will be drawn 
from their reading. In all of these exercises the 
general idea is the same, but the form differs : 
aphorisms are general propositions, while elhologiae 



4 personis continetur. Chriarum plura genera tra- 
duntur : unum simile sententiae,, quod est positum 
in voce simplici, Dixit ille, aut, Dicere solebat ; 
alterum, quod est in respondendo, hiterrogatus ille, 
vel, cum hoc ei dictum esset, respondit ; tertium huic 
non dissimile, cum quis dirissct all quid, vel fecisset. 

6 Etiam in ipsorum factis esse chriam putant, ut 
Crates, cum indoctum puerum vidisset, paedagogum eius 
percussit ; et aliud paene par ei, quod tamen eodem 
nomine appellare non audent sed dicunt xpetuiSes, ut 
Milo, quern vitulum assueverat ferre, taurum ferebat. 
In his omnibus et declinatio per eosdem ducitur 
casus, et tarn factorum quam dictorum ratio est. 

6 Narratiunculas a poetis celebratas notitiae causa non 
eloquentiae tractandas puto. Cetera maioris operis 
ac spiritus Latini rhetores relinquendo necessaria 
grammaticis fecerunt ; Graeci magis operum suorum 
et onera et modum norunt. 

X. Haec de Grammatice, quam brevissime potui, 
non ut omnia dicerem sectatus, quod infmitum erat, 
sed ut maxime necessaria ; nunc de ceteris artibus, 
quibus instituendos, priusquam rlietori tradantur, 

1 The sense is not clear : it appears to refer to the stereo- 
typed form in which the chria was couched. 

I 5 8 

BOOK I. ix. 3 -x. i 

are concerned with persons. Of moral essays there 4 
are various forms : some are akin to aphorisms and 
commence with a simple statement " he said" or "he 
used to say " : others give the answer to a question 
and begin "on being asked" or "in answer to this 
he replied/' while a third and not dissimilar type 
begins, " when someone has said or done something." 
Some hold that a moral essay may take some action 6 
as its text; take for example the statement "Crates 
on seeing an ill-educated boy, beat \\ispaedagogits," or 
a very similar example which they do not venture 
actually to propose as a theme for a moral essay, but 
content themselves with saying that it is of the 
nature of such a theme, namely " Milo, having 
accustomed himself to carrying a calf every day, 
ended by carrying it when grown to a bull." All 
these instances are couched in the same gram- 
matical form l and deeds no less than sayings may 
be presented for treatment. Short stories from the 6 
poets should in my opinion be handled not with 
a view to style but as a means of increasing know- 
ledge. Other more serious and ambitious tasks 
have been also imposed on teachers of literature by 
the fact that Latin rhetoricians will have nothing to 
do with them : Greek rhetoricians have a better 
comprehension of the extent and nature of the tasks 
placed on their shoulders. 

X. I have made my remarks 011 this stage of 
education as brief as possible, making no attempt to 
say everything, (for the theme is infinite), but con- 
fining myself to the most necessary points. I will 
now proceed briefly to discuss the remaining arts in 
which I think boys ought to be instructed before 
being handed over to the teacher of rhetoric : for it 



pueros existimo, strictim subiungam, ut efficiatur 
orbis ille doctrinae, quern Graeci tyKi'K\Lov TrcuSet'av 

2 Nam iisdem fere annis aliarum quoque discip- 
linarum studia ingredienda sunt, quae, quia et ipsae 
artes sunt et esse perfectae sine orandi scientia 
possunt nee rursus ad efficiendum oratorera satis 
valent solae, an sint huic operi necessariae quae- 

3 ritur. Nam quid, inquiunt, ad agendam causam 
dicendamve sententiam pertinet, scire, quemadmo- 
dum data linea constitui triangula aequis lateribus 
possint ? Aut quo melius vel defendet reum vel 
reget consilia, qui citharae sonos nominibus et spatiis 

4 distinxerit? Enumerent etiam fortasse multos 
quamlibet utiles foro, qui nee geometren audierint 
nee musicos nisi hac communi voluptate aurium 
intelligant. Quibus ego primum hoc respondeo, 
quod M. Cicero scripto ad Brutum libro frequentius 
testatur, non eum a nobis institui oratorem, qui sit 
aut fuerit, sed imaginem quandam concepisse nos 

5 animo perfect! illius et nulla parte cessantis. Nam 
et sapientem formantes eum, qui sit futurus con- 
summatus undique et, ut dicunt, mortalis quidam 
deus, non modo cognitione caelestium vel mortalmm 
putant instruendum, sed per quaedam parva sane, 
si ipsa demum aestimes, ducunt sicut exquisitas 
interim ambiguitates ; non quia ceratinae aut croco- 


BOOK I. x. 1-5 

is by such studies that the course of education de- 
scribed by the Greeks as ey/cuVA-ios TraiSeia or general 
education will be brought to its full completion. 

For there are other subjects of education which 2 
must be studied simultaneously with literature. 
These being independent studies are capable of com- 
pletion without a knowledge of oratory, while on the 
other hand they cannot by themselves produce an 
orator. The question has consequently been raised 
as to whether they are necessary for this purpose. 
What, say some, has the knowledge of the way to 3 
describe an equilateral triangle on a given straight 
line got to do with pleading in the law-courts or 
speaking in the senate ? Will an acquaintance with 
the names and intervals of the notes of the lyre help 
an orator to defend a criminal or direct the policy 
of his country? They will perhaps produce a long 4 
list of orators who are most effective in the courts 
but have never sat under a geometrician and whose 
understanding of music is confined to the pleasure 
which their ears, like those of other men, derive 
from it. To such critics I reply, and Cicero frequently 
makes the same remark in his Orator, that I am 
not describing any orator who actually exists or has 
existed, but have in my mind's eye an ideal orator, 
perfect down to the smallest detail. For when the 5 
philosophers describe the ideal sage who is to be 
consummate in all knowledge and a very god incar- 
nate, as they say, they would have him receive 
instruction not merely in the knowledge of things 
human and divine, but would also lead him through 
a course of subjects, which in themselves are com- 
paratively trivial, as for instance the elaborate 
subtleties of formal logic : not that acquaintance 



dilinae possint facere sapientem, sed quia ilium ne 
G in minimis quidem oporteat falli. Similiter ora- 
torem, qui debet esse sapiens, non geometres faciet 
aut musicus quaeque his alia subiungam, sed hae 
quoque artes, ut sit consummatus, iuvabunt. Nisi 
forte antidotes quidem atque alia,, quae oculis aut 
vulneribus medentur, ex multis atque interim con- 
trariis quoque inter se eiFectibus eomponi videmus, 
quorum ex diversis fit una ilia mixtura, quae nulli 
earum similis est, ex quibus constat, sed proprias vires 

7 ex omnibus sumit ; et muta animalia mellis ilium 
inimitabilem humanae rationi saporem vario riorum 
ac sucorum genere perficiunt: nos mirabimur, si 
oratio, qua nibil praestantius homini dedit provi- 
dentia, pluribus artibus egeat, quae, etiam cum se 
non ostendunt in dicendo nee proferunt, vim tamen 
occultam suggerunt et tacitae quoque sentiuntur? 

8 " Fuit aliquis sine iis disertus": sed ego oratorem 
volo. "Non multum adiiciunt " : sed aeque non 
erit totum, cui vel parva deerunt ; et optimum 
quidem hoc esse conveniet ; cuius etiamsi in arduo 
spes est, nos tamen praecipiamus omnia, ut saltern 
plura fiant. Sed cur deficiat animus? Natura enim 
perfectum oratorem esse non prohibet, turpiterque 
clesperatur quidquid fieri potest. 

1 You have what you have not lost : you have not lost 
horns : therefore you have horns. 

2 A crocodile, having seized a woman's son, said that he 
would restore him, if she would tell him the truth. She 
replied, " You will not restore him." \Yas it the crocodile's 
duty to give him up ? 


BOOK I. x. 5-8 

with the so called " horn " l or " crocodile " 2 problems 
can make a man wise, but because it is im- 
portant that he should never trip even in the 
smallest trifles. So too the teacher of geometry, 6 
music or other subjects which I would class with 
these, will not be able to create the perfect orator 
(who like the philosopher ought to be a wise man), 
but none the less these arts will assist in his perfec- 
tion. I may draw a parallel from the use of antidotes 
and other remedies applied to the eyes or to wounds. 
We know that these are composed of ingredients 
which produce many and sometimes contrary effects, 
but mixed together they make a single compound 
resembling no one of its component parts, but 
deriving its peculiar properties from all : so too dumb 7 
insects produce honey, whose taste is beyond the 
skill of man to imitate, from different kinds of flowers 
and juices. Shall we marvel then, if oratory, the 
highest gift of providence to man, needs the assistance 
of many arts, which, although they do not reveal or 
intrude themselves in actual speaking, supply hidden 
forces and make their silent presence felt ? " But ' 8 
it will be urged " men have proved fluent without 
their aid." Granted, but I am in quest of an orator. 
" Their contribution is but small." Yes, but we shall 
never attain completeness, if minor details be 
lacking. And it will be agreed that though our 
ideal of perfection may dwell on a height that is hard 
to gain, it is our duty to teach all we know, that 
achievement may at least come somewhat nearer 
the goal. But why should our courage fail ? The 
perfect orator is not contrary to the laws of nature, 
and it is cowardly to despair of anything that is 
within the bounds of possibility. 



9 Atque ego vel iudicio veterum poteram esse 
contentus. Nam quis ignorat musicen (ut de hac 
primum loquar) tantum iam illis antiquis temporibus 
non studii modo verum etiam venerationis habuisse, 
ut iidem musici et vates et sapientes iudicarentur 
(mittam alios) Orpheus et Linus ; quorum utrumque 
dis genitum, alterum vero, quia rudes quoque atque 
agrestes animos admiratione mulceret, non feras 
modo sed saxa etiam silvasque duxisse posteritatis 

10 memoriae traditum est. Itaque et Timagenes auctor 
est, omnium in litteris studiorum antiquissimam 
musicen extitisse, et testimonio sunt clarissimi 
poetae, apud quos inter regalia convivia laudes 
heroum ac deorum ad citharam canebantur. lopas 
vero ille Vergilii nonne canit crrantem lunam solisque 
labores et cetera ? Quibus certe palam confirmat 
auctor eminentissimus, musicen cum divinarum 

11 etiam rerum cognitione esse coniunctam. Quod si 
datur, erit etiam oratori necessaria, siquidem (ut 
diximus) haec quoque pars, quae ab oratoribus relicta 
a philosophis est occupata, nostri operis fuit, ac sine 
omnium talium scientia non potest esse perfecta 

12 eloquentia. Atque claros nomine sapientiae viros, 
nemo dubitaverit, studiosos musices fuisse, cum 
Pythagoras atque eum secuti acceptam sine dubio 
antiquitus opinionem vulgaverint, mundum ipsum 
ratione esse compositum, quam postea sit lyra 

1 Acn. i. 742. 

BOOK I. x. 9-12 

For myself I should be ready to accept the verdict 9 
of antiquity. Who is ignorant of the fact that 
music, of which I will speak first, was in ancient 
times the object not merely of intense study but of 
veneration : in fact Orpheus and Linus, to mention 
no others, were regarded as uniting the roles of musi- 
cian, poet and philosopher. Both were of divine 
origin, while the former, because by the marvel of 
his music he soothed the savage breast, is recorded 
to have drawn after him not merely beasts of the 
wild, but rocks and trees. So too Timagenes 10 
asserts that music is the oldest of the arts related to 
literature, a statement which is confirmed by the testi- 
mony of the greatest of poets in whose songs we read 
that the praise of heroes and of gods were sung to 
the music of the lyre at the feasts of kings. Does not 
lopas, the Vergilian bard, sing 

" The wandering moon and labours of the Sun " l 

and the like ? whereby the supreme poet mani- 
fests most clearly that music is united with the 
knowledge even of things divine. If this be admit- 11 
ted, music will be a necessity even for an orator, 
since those fields of knowledge, which were annexed 
by philosophy on their abandonment by oratory, 
once were ours and without the knowledge of all 
such things there can be no perfect eloquence. 
There can in any case be no doubt that some of 12 
those men whose wisdom is a household word have 
been earnest students of music : Pythagoras for 
instance and his followers popularised the belief, 
which they no doubt had received from earlier 
teachers, that the universe is constructed on the 
same principles which were afterwards imitated in 



imitata, nee ilia modo content! dissimilium con- 
cordia, quam vocant ap/jiovLav, sonum quoque iis 

13 motibus dederint. Nam Plato,, cum in aliis qui- 
busdam turn praecipue in Timaeo, ne intelligi 
quidem nisi ab iis, qui hanc quoque partem dis- 
ciplinae diligenter perceperint, potest. De philo- 
sophis loquor, quorum fons ipse Socrates iam senex 

14 institui lyra non erubescebat ? Duces maximos et 
fidibus et tibiis cecinisse traditum et exercitus 
Lacedaemoniorum musicis accensos modis. Quid 
autem aliud in nostris legionibus cornua ac tubae 
faciunt ? quorum concentus quanto est vehementior, 
tantum Romana in bellis gloria ceteris praestat. 

15 Non igitur frustra Plato civili viro, quern TTO\ITLKOV 
vocat, necessarian! musicen credidit. Et eius 
sectae, quae aliis severissima aliis asperrirna videtur, 
principes in hac fuere sententia., ut existimarent 
sapientium aliquos nonnullam operam his studiis 
accommodaturos. Et Lycurgus, durissimarum Lace- 
daemoniis legum auctor, musices disciplinam pro- 

16 bavit. Atque earn natura ipsa videtur ad tolerandos 
facilius labores velut muneri nobis dedisse, si quidem 
et remigem cantus hortatur ; nee sol um in iis 
operibus, in quibus plurium conatus praeeunte aliqua 
iucunda voce conspirat, sed etiam singulorum fati- 
gatio quamlibet se rudi modulatione solatur. 

17 Laudem adhuc dicere artis pulcherrimae videor, 

1 The music of the spheres : cp. the vision of Er in Plato 
(Rep. 10) and the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero. The 
Bounds produced by the heavenly bodies correspond to the 
notes of the heptachord. 


BOOK I. x. 12-17 

the construction of the lyre, and not content merely 
with emphasising that concord of discordant elements 
which they style harmony attributed a sound to the 
motions of the celestial bodies. 1 As for Plato, there 13 
are certain passages in his works, more especially in 
the Timaeus? which are quite unintelligible to those 
who have not studied the theory of music. But 
why speak only of the philosophers, whose master, 
Socrates, did not blush to receive instruction in play- 
in"; the lyre even when far advanced in vears ? It is 14 

o J J 

recorded that the greatest generals played on the 
lyre and the pipe, and that the armies of Sparta were 
fired to martial ardour by the strains of music. And 
what else is the function of the horns and trumpets 
attached to our legions ? The louder the concert of 
their notes, the greater is the glorious supremacy of 
our arms over all the nations of the earth. It was 15 
not therefore without reason that Plato regarded the 
knowledge of music as necessary to his ideal states- 
man or politician, as he calls him ; while the leaders 
even of that school, which in other respects is the 
strictest and most severe of all schools of philosophy, 3 
held that the wise man might well devote some of 
his attention to such studies. Lycurgus himself, the 
founder of the stern laws of Sparta, approved of the 
training supplied by music. Indeed nature itself 16 
seems to have given music as a boon to men to lighten 
the strain of labour : even the rower in the galleys 
is cheered to effort by song. Nor is this function of 
music confined to cases where the efforts of a number 
are given union by the sound of some sweet voice 
that sets the tune, but even solitary workers find 
solace at their toil in artless song. So far I have 17 
attempted merely to sound the praises of the noblest 

2 Tim. p. 47. 3 sc. the Stoics. 



noiidura earn tamen oratori coniungere. Transe- 
amus igitur id quoque, quod grammatice quondam 
ac musice iunctae fuerunt ; siquidem Archytas atque 
Euenus etiam subiectam grammaticen musicae puta- 
verunt, et eosdem utriusque rei praeceptores fuisse 
cum Sophron ostendit, mimorum quidem scriptor 
sed quern Plato adeo probavit, ut suppositos capiti 

18 libros eius, cum moreretur, habuisse credatur, turn 
Eupolis, apud quern Prodamus et musicen et litteras 
docet, et Maricas, qui est Hyperbolus, nihil se ex 
musice scire nisi litteras confitetur. Aristophanes 
quoque non uno libro sic institui pueros antiquitus 
solitos esse demonstrat, et apud Menandrum in 
Hypobolimaeo senex, qui reposcenti filium patri 
velut rationem impendiorum, quae in educationem 
contulerit, exponens, psaltis se et geometris multa 

19 dicit dedisse. Unde etiam ille mos, ut in conviviis 
post cenam circumferretur lyra ; cuius cum se 
imperitum Themistocles confessus esset, ut verbis 

20 Ciceronis utar, est habitus indoctior. Sed veterum 
quoque Romanorum epulis fides ac tibias adhibere 
moris fuit. Versus quoque Saliorum habent carmen. 
Quae cum omnia sint a Numa rege instituta, faciunt 
manifestum, ne illis quidem, qui rudes ac bellicosi 
videntur, cura musices, quantum ilia recipiebat aetas, 

21 defuisse. Denique in proverbium usque Graecorum 

1 Knights, 188. 

2 Tusc. Disp. i. ii. 4. 


BOOK I. x. 17-21 

of arts without bringing it into connexion with the 
education of an orator. 1 will therefore pass by the 
fact that the art of letters and that of music were 
once united : indeed Archytas and Euenus held 
that the former was subordinate to the latter, while 
we know that the same instructors were employed 
for the teaching of both from Sophron, a writer of 
farces, it is true, but so highly esteemed by Plato, 
that he is believed to have had Sophron's works 
under his pillow on his deathbed : the same fact is 18 
proved by the case of Eupolis, who makes Prodamus 
teach both music and literature, and whose Maricas, 
who was none other than Hyperbolus in disguise, 
asserts that he knows nothing of music but letters. 
Aristophanes l again in more than one of his plays 
shows that boys were trained in music from remote 
antiquity, while in the Hypobolimaeus of Menander 
an old man, when a father claims his son from him, 
gives an account of all expenses incurred on behalf 
of the boy's education and states that he has paid 
out large sums to musicians and geometricians. 
From the importance thus given to music also origi- 19 
nated the custom of taking a lyre round the company 
after dinner, and when on such an occasion Themis- 
tocles confessed that he could not play, his education 
was (to quote the words of Cicero) " regarded as im- 
perfect." 2 Even at the banquets of our own forefathers 20 
it was the custom to introduce the pipe and lyre, and 
even the hymn of the Salii has its tune. These 
practices were instituted by King Numa and clearly 
prove that not even those whom we regard as rude 
warriors, neglected the study of music, at least in so 
far as the resources of that age allowed. Finally 21 
there was actually a proverb among the Greeks, 



celebratum est, indoctos a Musis atque a Gratiis 

22 abesse. Verum quid ex ea proprie petat futurus 
orator, disseramus. 

Numeros musice duplices habet in vocibus et in 
corpore, utriusque enim rei aptus quidam modus 
desideratur. Vocis rationem Aristoxenus musicus 
dividit in pv@/jiov et /xe'Xos, quorum alterum modula- 
tione, alterum canore ac sonis constat. Num igitur 
non liaec omnia oratori necessaria ? quorum unum 
ad gestum, alterum ad collocationem verborum, 
tertium ad flexus vocis, qui sunt in agendo quoque 

23 plurimi, pertinet : nisi forte in carminibus tantum et 
in canticis exigitur structura quaedam et inoffensa 
copulatio vocum, in agendo supervacua est ; aut non 
compositio et sonus in oratione quoque varie pro 

24 rerum modo adhibetur sicut in musice. Namque et 
voce et modulatione grandia elate, iucunda dulciter, 
moderata leniter canit, totaque arte consentit cum 

25 eorum quae dicuntur adfectibus. Atqui in orando 
quoque intentio vocis, remissio, flexus pertinet ad 
movendos audientium adfectus, aliaque et colloca- 
tionis et vocis (ut eodem utar verbo) modulatione 
concitationem iudicis, alia misericordiam petimus ; 
cum etiam organis, quibus sermo exprimi non potest, 

26 adfici animos in diversum habit um sentiamus. Cor- 

1 Music includes dancing. 

BOOK I. x. 21-26 

that the uneducated were far from the company of 
the Muses and Graces. But let us discuss the 22 
advantages which our future orator may reasonably 

C_j / J 

expect to derive from the study of Music. 

Music has two modes of expression in the voice 
and in the body ; 1 for both voice and body require 
to be controlled by appropriate rules. Aristoxenus 
divides music, in so far as it concerns the voice, into 
rhythm and melody, the one consisting in measure, 
the latter in sound and song. Now I ask you whether 
it is not absolutely necessary for the orator to be 
acquainted with all these methods of expression 
which are concerned firstly with gesture, secondly 
with the arrangement of words and thirdly with the 
inflexions of the voice, of which a great variety are 
required in pleading. Otherwise we must assume 23 
that structure and the euphonious combination of 
sounds are necessary only for poetry, lyric and other- 
wise, but superfluous in pleading, or that unlike 
music, oratory has no interest in the variation of 
arrangement and sound to suit the demands of the 
case. But eloquence does vary both tone and rhythm, 24 
expressing sublime thoughts with elevation, pleasing 
thoughts with sweetness, and ordinary with gentle 
utterance, and in every expression of its art is in 
sympathy with the emotions of which it is the mouth- 
piece. It is by the raising, lowering or inflexion of 25 
the voice that the orator stirs the emotions of his 
hearers, and the measure, if I may repeat the term, 
of voice or phrase differs according as we wish 
to rouse the indignation or the pity of the judge. 
For, as we know, different emotions are roused even 
by the various musical instruments, which are 
incapable of reproducing speech. Further the 26 



poris quoque aptus et decens motus, qui dicitur 
fvpv@/j.ia, et est necessarius nee aliunde peti potest ; 
in quo pars actionis non minima consistit, qua de 

27 re sepositus nobis est locus. Age, non habebit 
imprimis curam vocis orator ? Quid tarn musices 
proprium ? Sed ne haec quidem praesumenda pars 
est. Uno interim content! simus exemplo C. 
Gracchi, praecipui suorum temporum oratoris, cui 
contionanti consistens post eum musicus fistula, 
quam rovaptov vacant, modos, quibus deberet intendi, 

28 monstrabat. Haec ei cura inter turbidissimas 
actiones vel terrenti optimates vel iam timenti fuit. 
Libet propter quosdam imperitiores etiam crassiore, 
ut vocant, Musa dubitationem huius utilitatis 

29 eximere. Nam poetas certe legendos oratori futuro 
concesserint : num igitur hi sine musice ? ac si quis 
tarn caecus animi est, ut de aliis dubitet, illos certe, 
qui carmina ad lyram composuerunt. Haec diutius 
forent dicenda, si hoc studium velut novum praeci- 

30 perem. Cum vero antiquitus usque a Chirone atque 
Achille ad nostra tempora apud omnes, qui modo 
legitimam disciplinam non sint perosi, duraverit, 

1 Book XI. chap. iii. 

BOOK I. x. 26-30 

motion of the body must be suitable and becoming, 
or as the Greeks call it eurythmic, and this can only 
be secured by the study of music. This is a most 
important department of eloquence, and will receive 
separate treatment in this work. 1 To proceed, an 27 
orator will assuredly pay special attention to his 
voice, and what is so specially the concern of music 
as this ? Here too I must not anticipate a later 
section of this work, and will content myself by 
citing the example of Gaius Gracchus, the leading 
orator of his age, who during his speeches had a 
musician standing behind him with a pitchpipe, or 
tonarion as the Greeks call it, whose duty it was to 
give him the tones in which his voice was to be 
pitched. Such was the attention which he paid to 28 
this point even in the midst of his most turbulent 
speeches, when he was terrifying the patrician party 
and even when he had begun to fear their power. 
I should like for the benefit of the uninstructed, 
those " creatures of the heavier Muse," as the saying 
is, to remove all doubts as to the value of music. 
They will at any rate admit that the poets should be 29 
read by our future orator. But can they be read 
without some knowledge of music? Or if any of 
my critics be so blind as to have some doubts about 
other forms of poetry, can the lyric poets at any 
rate be read without such knowledge? If there 
were anything novel in my insistence on the study 
of music, 1 should have to treat the matter at 
greater length. But in view of the fact that the 30 
study of music has, from those remote times when 
Chiron taught Achilles down to our own day, con- 
tinued to be studied by all except those who 
have a hatred for any regular course of study, it 


non est committendum, ut ilia dubia faciam defensi- 

31 onis sollicitudine. Quamvis antem satis iam ex 
ipsis, quibus sum modo usus, exemplis credam esse 
manifestum, quae mihi et quatenus musice placeat, 
apertius tamen profitendum puto_, non hanc a me 
praecipi, quae nunc in scenis effeminata et impudicis 
modis fracta non ex parte minima, si quid in nobis 
virilis roboris manebat, excidit, sed qua laudes 
fortium canebantur, quaque ipsi fortes canebant ; 
nee psalteria et spadicns, etiam virginibus probis 
recusanda, sed cognitionem rationis, quae ad mo- 
vendos leniendosque adfectus plurimum valet. 

32 Nam et Pvthagoran accepimus concitatos ad vim 
pudicae domui adferendam iuvenes, iussa mutare in 
spondeum modos tibicina, composuisse ; et Chry- 
sippus etiam nutricum illi^quae adhibetur infantibus, 

33 adlectationi suum quoddam carmen assignat. Est 
etiam non inerudite ad declamandum ficta materia, 
in qua ponitur tibicen, qui sacrificanti Phrygium 
cecinerat. acto illo in insaniam et per praecipitia 
delate accusari, quod causa mortis extiterit ; quae 
si dici debet ab oratore nee dici citra scientiam 


BOOK I. x. 30-33 

would be a mistake to seem to cast any doubt upon 
its value by showing an excessive zeal in its defence. 
It will, however, I think be sufficiently clear from 31 
the examples I have already quoted, what I regard 
as the value and the sphere of music in the training 
of an orator. Still I think I ought to be more 
emphatic than I have been in stating that the music 
which I desire to see taught is not our modern music, 
which has been emasculated by the lascivious melo- 
dies of our effeminate stage and has to no small 
extent destroyed such manly vigour as we still 
possessed. No, I refer to the music of old which was 
employed to sing the praises of brave men and was 
sung by the brave themselves. I will have none 
of your psalteries and viols, that are unfit even for 
the use of a modest girl. Give me the knowledge 
of the principles of music, which have power to 
excite or assuage the emotions of mankind. We 32 
are told that Pythagoras on one occasion, when some 
young men were led astray by their passions to 
commit an outrage on a respectable family, calmed 
them by ordering the piper to change her strain to a 
spondaic measure, while Chrysippus selects a special 
tune to be used by nurses to entice their little charges 
to sleep. Further I may point out that among the 33 
fictitious themes employed in declamation is one, 
doing no little credit to its author's learning, in 
which it is supposed that a piper is accused of man- 
slaughter because he had played a tune in the Phry- 
gian mode as an accompaniment to a sacrifice, with 
the result that the person officiating went mad and 
flung himself over a precipice. If an orator is 
expected to declaim on such a theme as this, which 
cannot possibly be handled without some knowledge 



musices potest, quomodo non hanc quoque artem 
necessariam esse operi nostro vel iniqui consentient ? 

34 In geometria partem fatentur esse utilem teneris 
aetatibus. Agitari namque animos et acui ingenia 
et celeritatem percipiendi venire inde concedunt, 
sed prod esse earn non ut ceteras artes, cum per- 
ceptae sint, sed cum discatur, existimant : ea vulgaris 

35 opinio est. Nee sine causa summi viri etiam im- 
pensam huic scientiae operam dederunt. Nam 
cum sit geometria divisa in numeros atque formas, 
numerorum quidein notitia non oratori modo, sed 
cuicunque saltern primis litteris erudito necessaria 
est. In causis vero vel frequentissime versari solet ; 
in quibus actor, non dico, si circa summas trepidat, 
sed si digitorum saltern incerto aut indecoro gestu 

36 a computatione dissentit, iudicatur indoctus. Ilia 
vero linearis ratio et ipsa quidem cadit frequenter 
in causas (nam de terminis mensurisque sunt lites), 
sed habet maiorem quandam aliam cum arte oratoria 

37 cognationem. lam primum ordo est geometriae 
necessarius ; nonne et eloquentiae ? Ex prioribus 
geometria probat insequentia, ex certis incerta ; 
nonne id in dicendo facimus ? Quid ? ilia proposi- 
tarum quaestionum conclusio non fere tota constat 

1 Geometry here includes all mathematics. 

a There was a separate symbol for each number, depending 
on the hand used and the position of the fingers. See Class. 
Review, 1911, p. 72. 


BOOK I. x. 33-37 

of music, how can my critics for all their prejudice 
fail to agree that music is a necessary element in 
the education of an orator ? 

As regards geometry/ it is granted that portions of 34 
this science are of value for the instruction of children: 
for admittedly it exercises their minds, sharpens 
their wits and generates quickness of perception. 
But it is considered that the value of geometry 
resides in the process of learning, and not as with 
other sciences in the knowledge thus acquired. 
Such is the general opinion. But it is not without 35 
good reason that some of the greatest men have 
devoted special attention to this science. Geometry 
has two divisions ; one is concerned with numbers, 
the other with figures. Now knowledge of the former 
is a necessity not merely to the orator, but to any 
one who has had even an elementary education. 
Such knowledge is frequently required in actual 
cases, in which a speaker is regarded as de- 
ficient in education, I will not say if he hesitates 
in making a calculation, but even if he contradicts 
the calculation which he states in words by making 
an uncertain or inappropriate gesture with his fingers. 2 
Again linear geometry is frequently required in 36 
cases, as in lawsuits about boundaries and measure- 
ments. But geometry and oratory are related in a 
yet more important way than this. In the first 37 
place logical development is one of the necessities 
of geometry. And is it not equally a necessity for 
oratory ? Geometry arrives at its conclusions from 
definite premises, and by arguing from what is certain 
proves what was previously uncertain. Is not this 
just what we do in speaking ? Again are not the 
problems of geometry almost entirely solved by the 



syllogismis ? Propter quod plures invenias, qui 
dialecticae similem quam qui rhetoricae fateantur 
hanc artem. Verum et orator etiamsi raro non 

38 tamen nunquam probabit dialectice. Nam et syllo- 
gismo, si res poscet, utetur et certe enthymemate, 
qui rhetoricus est syllogismus. Denique probatio- 
num quae sunt potentissimae ypa/jLfj.LKal aTroSei'^eis 
vulgo dicuntur : quid autem magis oratio quam 

39 probationem petit? Falsa quoque veris similia 
geometrica ratione dej)rehendit. Fit hoc et in 
numeris per quasdam, quas i//tuSoypa</>ia<; vacant, 
quibus pueri ludere solebamus. Sed alia maiora 
sunt. Nam quis non ita proponent! credat? 
"Quorum locorum extremae lineae eandemmensuram 
colligunt, eorum spatium quoque, quod iis lineis 

40 continetur, par sit necesse est." At id falsum est. 
Nam plurimum refert, cuius sit formae ille circuitus ; 
reprehensique a geometris sunt historici, qui mag- 
nitudinem insularum satis significari navigationis 
ambitu crediderunt. Nam ut quaeque forma per- 

41 fectissima ita capacissima est. Ideoque ilia circum- 
currens linea si efficiet orbem, quae forma est in 
planis maxima perfecta, amplius spatium complec- 
tetur quam si quadratum paribus oris efficiat, rursus 
quadrata triangulis, triangula ipsa plus aequis lateri- 

42 bus quam inaequalibus. Sed alia forsitan obscuriora ; 

1 See v. xiv. 1 for an example from the Pro Ligario. 
"The cause was then doubtful, as there were arguments on 
both sides. Now, however, we must regard that cause as the 
better, to which the gods have given their approval." 

I 7 8 

BOOK I. x. 37-42 

syllogistic method, a fact which makes the majority 
assert that geometry bears a closer resemblance to 
logic than to rhetoric ? But even the orator will 
sometimes, though rarely, prove his point by formal 
logic. For, if necessary, he will use the syllogism, 38 
and he will certainly make use of the enthymeme 
which is a rhetorical form of syllogism. 1 Further 
the most absolute form of proof is that which is 
generally known as linear demonstration. And what 
is the aim of oratory if not proof? Again oratory 39 
sometimes detects falsehoods closely resembling the 
truth by the use of geometrical methods. An 
example of this may be found in connexion with 
numbers in the so-called pseudographs, a favourite 
amusement in our boyhood. 2 But there are more 
important points to be considered. Who is there 
who would not accept the following proposition ? 
" When the lines bounding two figures are equal in 
length, the areas contained within those lines are 
equal." But this is false, for everything depends on 40 
the shape of the figure formed by these lines, and 
historians have been taken to task by geometricians 
for believing the time taken to circumnavigate an 
island to be a sufficient indication of its size. For 
the space enclosed is in proportion to the perfection 
of the figure. Consequently if the bounding line 41 
to which we have referred form a circle, the most 
perfect of all plane figures, it will contain a greater 
space than if the same length of line took the form 
of a square, while a square contains a greater space 
than a triangle having the same total perimeter, and 
an equilateral triangle than a scalene triangle. But 42 
there are other points which perhaps present greater 

It is not known to what Quintilian refers. 



nos facillimum etiam imperitis sequamur experi- 
mentum, lugeri mensuram ducentos et quadraginta 
longitudinis pedes esse dimidioque iri latitudinem 
patere, non fere quisquam est qui ignoret, et qui sit 
circuitus et quantum campi claudat, colligere expedi- 

43 turn. At centeni et octogeni in quamque partem 
pedes idem spatium extremitatis sed multo amplius 
clausae quattuor lineis areae faciunt. Id si corn- 
putare quern piget, brevioribus numeris idem discat. 
Nam deni in quadram pedes, quadraginta per oram, 
intra centum erunt. At si quini deni per latera ; 
quini in fronte sint, ex illo, quod amplectuntur, 

44 quartam deducent eodem circumductu. Si vero 
porrecti utrinque undeviceni singulis distent, non 
plures intus quadrates habebunt, quam per quot 
longitude ducetur ; quae circumibit autem linea, 
eiusdem spatii erit, cuius ea quae centum continet. 
Ita quidquid formae quadrati detraxeris, amplitudini 

45 quoque peribit. Ergo etiam id fieri potest, ut 
maiore circuitu minor loci amplitudo claudatur. 
Haec in planis. Nam in collibus vallibusque etiam 

46 imperito patet plus soli esse quam caeli. Quid 
quod se eadem geometria tollit ad rationem usque 
mundi ? in qua, cum siderum certos constitutosque 
cursus numeris docet, discimus nihil esse inordina- 
tum atque fortuitum ; quod ipsum nonnunquam per- 

41 tinere ad oratorem potest. An vero, cum Pericles 

1 80 

BOOK I. x. 42-47 

difficulty. I will take an example which is easy 
even for those who have no knowledge of geometry. 
There is scarcely anyone who does not know that 
the Roman acre is 240 feet long and 120 feet 
broad, and its total perimeter and the area enclosed 
can easily be calculated. But a square of 180 feet 43 
gives the same perimeter, yet contains a much 
larger area within its four sides. If the calculation 
prove irksome to any of my readers, he can learn the 
same truth by employing smaller numbers. Take a 
ten foot square : its perimeter is forty feet and it 
contains 100 square feet. But if the dimensions be 
fifteen feet by five, while the perimeter is the same, 
the area enclosed is less by a quarter. On the other 44 
hand if we draw a parallelogram measuring nineteen 
feet by one, the number of square feet enclosed will 
be no greater than the number of linear feet making 
the actual length of the parallelogram, though the 
perimeter will be exactly as that of the figure which 
encloses an area of 100 square feet. Consequently the 
area enclosed by four lines will decrease in proportion 
as we depart from the form of a square. It further 45 
follows that it is perfectly possible for the space 
enclosed to be less, though the perimeter be greater. 
This applies to plane figures only : for even one who 
is no mathematician can see that, when we have to 
consider hills or valleys, the extent of ground enclosed 
is greater than the sky over it. But geometry soars 46 
still higher to the consideration of the system of 
the universe : for by its calculations it demonstrates 
the fixed and ordained courses of the stars, and 
thereby we acquire the knowledge that all things 
are ruled by order and destiny, a consideration 
which may at times be of value to an orator. When 47 



Athenienses soils obscuratione territos redditis eius 
rei causis metu liberavit, aut cum Sulpicius ille 
Gallus in exercitu L. Paulli de lunae defectione 
disseruit, ne velut prodigio divinitus facto militum 
animi terrerentur, non videtur usus esse oratoris 

48 officio ? Quod si Nicias in Sicilia scisset, non eodem 
confusus metu pulcherrimum Atheniensium exerci- 
tum perdidisset ; sicut Dion, cum ad destruendam 
Dionysii tyrannidem venit, non est tali casu deter- 
ritus. Sint extra licet usus bellici, transeamusque, 
quod Archimedes unus obsidionem Syracusarum in 

49 longius traxit. Illud utique iam proprium ad effici- 
endum quod intendimus, plurimas quaestiones, 
quibus difficilior alia ratione explicatio est, ut de 
ratione dividend!, de sectione in infinitum, de cele- 
ritate augenda, linearibus illis probationibus solvi 
solere ; ut, si est oratori (quod proximus demonstra- 
bit liber) de omnibus rebus dicendum, nullo modo 
sine geometria esse possit orator. 

XI. Dandum aliquid comoedo quoque, dum eate- 

nus, qua pronuntiandi scientiam futurus orator 

desiderat. Non enim puerum, quern in hoc institu- 

imus, aut femineae vocis exilitate frangi volo aut 

2 seniliter tremere. Nee vitia ebrietatis effingat 

1 Quintilian is perhaps referring to the measurement of 
the area of an irregular figure by dividing it into a number 
of small equal and regular figures the size of which was 


BOOK I. x. 47-xi. 2 

Pericles dispelled the panic caused at Athens by the 
eclipse of the sun by explaining the causes of the 
phenomenon, or Sulpicius Gallus discoursed on the 
eclipse of the moon to the army of Lucius Paulus to 
prevent the soldiers being seized with terror at what 
they regarded as a portent sent by heaven, did not 
they discharge the function of an orator? If Nicias 48 
had known this when he commanded in Sicilv, he 

v * 

would not have shared the terror of his men nor lost 
the finest army that Athens ever placed in the field. 
Dion for instance when he came to Syracuse to over- 
throw the tyranny of Dionysius, was not frightened 
away by the occurrence of a similar phenomenon. 
However we are not concerned with the uses of 
geometry in war and need not dwell upon the fact 
that Archimedes singlehanded succeeded in appreci- 
ably prolonging the resistance of Syracuse when it 
was besieged. It will suffice for our purpose that 49 
there are a number of problems which it is difficult 
to solve in any other way, which are as a rule solved 
by these linear demonstrations, such as the method 
of division, section to infinity, 1 and the ratio of in- 
crease in velocity. From this we may conclude that, 
if as we shall show in the next book an orator has 
to speak on every kind of subject, he can under 
no circumstances dispense \vith a knowledge of 

XI. The comic actor will also claim a certain 
amount of our attention, but only in so far as our 
future orator must be a master of the art of delivery. 
For I do not of course wish the boy, whom we are 
training to this end, to talk with the shrillness of a 
woman or in the tremulous accents of old age. Nor 2 
for that matter must he ape the vices of the 



neque servili vernilitate imbuatur nee arnoris, avari- 
tiae, metus discat adfectum ; quae neque oratori sunt 
necessaria et mentem, praecipue in aetate prirna 

3 teneram adhuc et rudem, inficiunt. Nam frequens 
imitatio transit in mores. Ne gestus quidem omnis 
ac motus a comoedis petendus est. Quanquam 
enim utrumque eorum ad quendam modum praestare 
debet orator, plurimum tamen aberit a scenico, nee 
vultu nee manu nee excursionibus nimius. Nam si 
qua in his ars est dicentium, ea prima est, ne ars 
esse videatur. 

4 Quod est igitur huius doctoris officium? In 
primis vitia si qua sunt oris emendet, ut expressa 
sint verba, ut suis quaeque litterae sonis enuntientur. 
Quarundam enim vel exilitate vel pinguitudine nimia 
laboramus, quasdam velut acriores parum efficimus 
et aliis non dissimilibus sed quasi hebetioribus per- 

6 mutamus. Quippe et Rho litterae, qua Demosthenes 
quoque laboravit, Labda succedit (quarum vis est 
apud nos quoque) ; et cum c ac similiter g non 

6 evaluerunt, in t ac d rnolliuntur. Ne illas quidem 
circa s litteram delicias hie magister feret, nee verba 
in faucibus patietur audiri nee oris inanitate resonare 

1 The mis-spelling of flagro as Jraglo exemplifies the con- 
fusion to which Quintilian refers. A similar, though correct, 
substitution is found in lavacrum for lavaclum, etc. See 
Lindsay, Lat. Langu., pp. 92 ff. 


BOOK 1. xi. 2-6 

drunkard, or copy the cringing manners of a slave, 
or learn to express the emotions of love, avarice or 
fear. Such accomplishments are not necessary to 
an orator and corrupt the mind, especially while it 
is still pliable and unformed. For repeated imita- 3 
tion passes into habit. Nor yet again must we 
adopt all the gestures and movements of the actor. 
Within certain limits the orator must be a master of 
both, but he must rigorously avoid staginess and all 
extravagance of facial expression, gesture and gait. 
For if an orator does command a certain art in such 
matters, its highest expression will be in the con- 
cealment of its existence. 

What then is the duty of the teacher whom 4 
we have borrowed from the stage ? In the 
first place he must correct all faults of pro- 
nunciation, and see that the utterance is distinct, 
and that each letter has its proper sound. 
There is an unfortunate tendency in the case of 
some letters to pronounce them either too thinly 
or too fullv, while some we find too harsh and fail to 

J ' 

pronounce sufficiently, substituting others whose 
sound is similar but somewhat duller. For instance, 5 
lambda is substituted for rho, a letter which was 
always a stumbling-block to Demosthenes ; our / 
and r have of course the same value. 1 Similarly 
when c and g are not given their full value, they 
are softened into t and d. Again our teacher must 6 
not tolerate the affected pronunciation of s 2 with 
which we are painfully familiar, nor suffer words 
to be uttered from the depths of the throat or 

2 Quintilian perhaps alludes to the habit of prefixing t to 
initial st, sp, sc found in inscriptions of the later Empire. 
See Lindsay, op. cit. p. 102. 


nee, quod minime sermoni puro conveniat, simplicern 
vocis naturam pleniore quodam sono circumliniri, 

7 quod Graeci KaraTreTrXacr/xeVov dicunt. Sic appellatur 
cantus tibiarum, quae praeclusis quibus clarescunt 
foraminibus, recto modo exitu graviorem spiritum 

8 reddunt. Curabit etiam, ne extremae syllabae in- 
tercidant, ut par sibi sermo sit, ut, quotiens excla- 
mandum erit, lateris conatus sit ille non capitis, ut 
gestus ad vocem, vultus ad gestum accommodetur. 

9 Observandum erit etiam, ut recta sit facies dicentis, 
ne labra distorqueantur, ne immodicus hiatus rictum 
discindat, ne supinus vultus, ne deiecti in terram 
oculi, ne inclinata utrolibet cervix. Nam frons pluri- 

10 bus generibus peccat. Vidi mi.ltos, quorum super- 
cilia ad singulos vocis conatus adlevarentur, aliorum 
constricta, aliorum etiam dissidentia, cum alterum in 
verticem tenderent, altero paene oculus ipse preme- 

11 retur. Infinitum autem, ut mox dicemus, in his 
quoque rebus momentum est ; et nihil potest placere 
quod non decet. 

12 Debet etiam docere comoedus_, quomodo narran- 
dum, qua sit auctoritate suadendum, qua concitatione 
consurgat ira_, qui flexus deceat miserationem. Quod 
ita optima faciet, si certos ex comoediis elegerit 


BOOK I. xi. 6-12 

rolled out hollow-mouthed, or permit the natural 
sound of the voice to be over-laid with a fuller 
sound, a fault fatal to purity of speech ; the 
Greeks give this peculiarity the name KaraTre- 
rrA.acr/xeVov (plastered over), a term applied to the 7 
tone produced by a pipe, when the stops which 
produce the treble notes are closed, and a bass note 
is produced through the main aperture only. He 8 
will also see that final syllables are not clipped, that 
the quality of speech is continuously maintained, 
that when the voice is raised, the strain falls upon 
the lungs and not the mouth, and that gesture and 
voice are mutually appropriate. He will also insist 9 
that the speaker faces his audience, that the lips 
are not distorted nor the jaws parted to a grin, 
that the face is not thrown back, nor the eyes fixed 
on the ground, nor the neck slanted to left or right. 
For there are a variety of faults of facial expression. 
I have seen many, who raised their brows whenever 10 
the voice was called upon for an effort, others who 
wore a perpetual frown, and yet others who could 
not keep their eyebrows level, but raised one 
towards the top of the head and depressed the 
other till it almost closed the eye. These are 11 
details, but as I shall shortly show, they are of 
enormous importance, for nothing that is unbecoming 
can have a pleasing effect. 

Our actor will also be required to show how a 12 
narrative should be delivered, and to indicate the 
authoritative tone that should be given to advice, 
the excitement which should mark the rise of anger, 
and the change of tone that is characteristic of 
pathos. The best method of so doing is to select 
special passages from comedy appropriate for the 



locos et ad hoc maxime idoneos, id est, actionibus 

13 similes. lidem autem non ad pronuntiandum modo 
utilissimi verum ad augendam quoque eloquentiam 

14 maxime accommodati erunt. Et haec, dum infinna 
aetas maiora Don capiet ; ceterum, cum legere ora- 
tiones oportebit, cum virtutes earum iam sentiet, 
turn mihi diligens aliquis ac peritus ads'istat, neque 
solum lectionem format, verum ediscere etiam electa 
ex iis cogat et ea dicere stantem clare et quemad- 
modum agere oportebit, ut protinus pronuntiationem 
vocem, memoriam exerceat. 

15 Ne illos quidem reprehendendos puto, qui paulum 
etiam palaestricis vacaverunt. Non de his loquor, 
quibus pars vitae in oleo, pars in vino consumitur, 
qui corporum cura mentem obruerunt (hos enim 
abesse ab eo quern instituimus quam longissime 

16 velim) ; sed nornen est idem iis, a quibus gestus 
motusque forinantur, ut recta sint brachia, ne in- 
doctae rusticae manus, ne status indecorus, ne qua 
in proferendis pedibus inscitia, ne caput oculique ab 

17 alia corporis inclinatione dissideant. Nam neque 
haec esse in parte pronuntiationis negaverit quis- 
quam, neque ipsam pronuntiationem ab oratore 
secernet, et certe, quod facere oporteat, non indig- 
nandum est discere ; cum praesertim haec chironomia, 
quae est, ut nomine ipso declaratur. lex gestus,, et 
ab illis temporibus heroicis orta sit et a summis 

BOOK I. xi. 12-17 

purpose, that is to say,, resembling the speeches of 
a pleader. These are not onl} most useful in train- 13 
ing the delivery,, but are admirably adapted to 
increase a speaker's eloquence. These are the 14 
methods to be employed while the pupil is too young 
to take in more advanced instruction ; but when 
the time has come for him to read speeches, and as 
soon as he begins to appreciate their merits, he 
should have a careful and efficient teacher at his 
side not merely to form his style of reading aloud, 
but to make him learn select passages by heart and 
declaim them standing in the manner which actual 
pleading would require : thus he will simultaneously 
train delivery, voice and memory. 


I will not blame even those who give a certain 15 
amount of time to the teacher of gymnastics. I am 
not speaking of those, who spend part of their life 
in rubbing themselves with oil and part in wine- 
bibbing, and kill the mind by over-attention to the 
body : indeed, I would have such as these kept 
as far a possible from the boy whom we are 
training. But we give the same name to those who 16 
form gesture and motion so that the arms may be 
extended in the proper manner, the management of 
the hands free from all trace of rusticity and 
inelegance, the attitude becoming, the movements 
of the feet appropriate and the motions of the head 
and eyes in keeping with the poise of the body. No 17 
one will deny that such details form a part of the 
art of delivery, nor divorce delivery from oratory ; 
and there can be no justification for disdaining to 
learn what has got to be done, especially as 
chironomy, which, as the name shows, is the Ian- of 
gesture, originated in heroic times and met with the 



Graeciae viris atque ipso etiara Socrate probata, a 
Platone quoque in parte civilium posita virtutum et 
a Chrysippo in praeceptis de liberorum educatione 

18 compositis non omissa. Nam Lacedaemonios quidem 
etiam saltationem quandam tanquam ad bella quo- 
que utilem habuisse inter exercitationes accepimus. 
Neque id veteribus Romanis dedecori fuit ; argu- 
mentum est sacerdotum nomine ac religione durans 
ad hoc tempus saltatio, et ilia in tertio Ciceronis de 
Oratore libro verba Crassi, quibus praecipit, ut orator 
utatur laterum inclinatione forti ac ririli, non a scena et 
histrionibus sed ab armis aid etiam a palaestra ; cuius 
disciplinae usus in nostram usque aetatem sine re- 

19 prehensione descendit. A me tamen nee ultra 
pueriles annos retinebitur nee in his ipsis diu. 
Neque enim gestum oratoris componi ad similitudi- 
nem saltationis volo, sed subesse aliquid ex hac 
exercitatione puerili, unde nos non id agentes furtim 
decor ille discentibus traditus prosequatur. 

XII. Quaeri solet, an, etiamsi discenda sint haec, 
eodem tempore tamen tradi omnia et percipi possint. 
Negant enim quidam, quia confundatur animus ac 
fatigetur tot disciplinis in diversum tendentibus, ad 
quas nee mens nee corpus nee dies ipse sufficiat, et 

1 lix. 220. 

BOOK I. xi. 17-xn. i 

approval of the greatest Greeks, not excepting 
Socrates himself, while it was placed by Plato among 
the virtues of a citizen and included by Chrysippus 
in his instructions relative to the education of 
children. We are told that the Spartans even 18 
regarded a certain form of dance as a useful 
element in military training. Nor again did the 
ancient Romans consider such a practice as disgrace- 
ful : this is clear from the fact that priestly and 
ritual dances have survived to the present day, while 
Cicero in the third book of his de Oralore 1 quotes the 
words of Crassus, in which he lays down the 
principle that the orator "should learn to move his 
body in a bold and manly fashion derived not from 
actors or the stage, but from martial and even from 
gymnastic exercises." And such a method of train- 
ing has persisted uncensured to our own time. In my 19 
opinion, however, such training should not extend 
beyond the years of boyhood, and even boys should 
not devote too much time to it. For I do not wish 
the gestures of oratory to be modelled on those 
of the dance. But I do desire that such boyish 
exercises should continue to exert a certain influ- 
ence, and that something of the grace which we 
acquired as learners should attend us in after life 
without our being conscious of the fact. 

XII. The question is not infrequently asked, as 
to whether, admitting that these things ought to 
be learned, it is possible for all of them to be 
taught and taken in simultaneously. There are 
some who say that this is impossible on the ground 
that the mind is confused and tired by application 
to so many studies of different tendencies : neither 
the intelligence nor the physique of our pupils, nor 



si maxima patiatur hoc aetas robustior, pueriles 

2 annos onerari non oporteat. Sed non satis perspi- 
ciunt, quantum iiatura human! ingenii valeat ; quae 
ita est agilis ac velox, sic in omnem partem, ut ita 
dixerim, spectat, ut ne possit quidem aliquid agere 
tantum unum, in plura vero non eodem die modo, 
sed eodem temporis momento vim suam intendat. 

3 An vero citharoedi non simul et memoriae et sono 
vocis et plurimis flexibus serviunt, cum interim alios 
nervos dextra percurrunt, alios laeva trahunt, con- 
tinent, praebent, ne pes quidem otiosus certam 
legem temporum servat, et haec pariter omnia? 

4 Quid ? nos agendi subita necessitate deprehensi 
nonne alia dicimus, alia providemus, cum pariter 
inventio rerum, electio verborum, compositio, gestus, 
pronuntiatio, vultus, motus desiderentur ? Quae si 
velut sub uno conatu tarn diversa parent simul, cur 
non pluribus curis horas partiamur ? cum praesertim 
reficiat animos ac reparet varietas ipsa, contraque sit 
aliquanto difficilius in labore uno perseverare. Ideo 
et stilus lectione requiescit, et ipsius lectionis 

5 taedium vicibus levatur. Quamlibet multa egeri- 
mus, quodam tamen modo recentes sumus ad id quod 
incipimus. Quis non obtundi potest, si per totum 
diem cuiuscunque artis unum magi strum ferat? 
Mutatione recreabitur sicut in cibis, quorum diversi- 


BOOK I. xii. 1-5 

the time at our disposal are sufficient, they say, and 
even though older boys may be strong enough, it is 
a sin to put such a burden on the shoulders of child- 
hood. These critics show an insufficient appre- 2 
ciation of the capacities of the human mind, which 
is so swift and nimble and versatile, that it cannot 
be restricted to doing one thing only, but insists on 
devoting its attention to several different subjects not 
merely in one day, but actually at one and the 
same time. Do not harpists simultaneously exert 3 
the memory and pay attention to the tone and 
inflexions of the voice, while the right hand runs 
over certain strings and the left plucks, stops or 
releases others, and even the foot is employed in 
beating time, all these actions being performed at 
the same moment? Again, do not we ourselves, 4 
when unexpectedly called upon to plead, speak 
while we are thinking what we are to say next, 
invention of argument, choice of words, rhythm, 
gesture, delivery, facial expression and movement all 
being required simultaneously? Jf all these things 
can be done with one effort in spite of their 
diversity, why should we not divide our hours among 
different branches of study ? We must remember 
that variety serves to refresh and restore the mind, 
and that it is really considerably harder to work at 
one subject without intermission. Consequently we 
should give the pen a rest by turning to read, and 
relieve the tedium of reading by changes of subject. 
However manifold our activities, in a certain sense 5 
we come fresh to each new subject. Who can 
maintain his attention, if he has to listen for a 
whole day to one teacher harping on the same 
subject, be it what it may? Change of studies is 



tate reficitur stomachus et pluribus minore fastidio 

6 alitur. Aut dicant isti mihi, quae sit alia ratio 
discendi. Grammatico soli deserviamus, deinde 
geometrae taiitum, omittamus interim quod didici- 
mus ? mox transeamus ad musicum, excidaiit priora? 
et cum Latinis studebimus litteris, non respiciamus 
ad Graecas, et, ut semel finiam, nihil faciamus nisi 

7 novissimum ? Cur non idem suademus agricolis, ne 
arva simul et vineta et oleas et arbustum colant, ne 
pratis et pecoribus et hortis et alvearibus avibusque 
accommodent curam ? Cur ipsi aliquid forensibus 
negotiis, aliquid desideriis amicorum, aliquid ratio- 
nibus domesticis, aliquid curae corpori.v, nonniliil 
voluptatibus cotidie damus ? quarum nos una res 
quaelibet nihil intermittentes fatigaret. Adeo 
facilius est multa facere quam diu. 

8 Illud quidem minima verendum est, ne laborem 
studiorum pueri difficilius tolerent, neque enim ulla 
aetas minus fatigatur. Mirum sit forsitan, sed ex- 

9 perimentis depreliendas. Nam et dociliora sunt 
ingenia, priusquam obduruerunt. Id vel hoc argu- 
mento patet, quod intra biennium, quam verba recte 
formare potuerunt, quamvis nullo instante^ omma 
fere loquuntur; at noviciis nostris per quot annos 


BOOK I. xn. 5-9 

like change of foods: the stomach is refreshed by 
their variety and derives greater nourishment from 
variety of viands. If my critics disagree, let them 6 
provide me with an alternative method. Are we 
first to deliver ourselves up to the sole service of 
the teacher of literature, and then similarly to the 
teacher of geometry, neglecting under the latter 
what was taught us by the former ? And then are 
we to go on to the musician, forgetting all that we 
learned before ? And when we study Latin litera- 
ture, are we to do so to the exclusion of Greek ? In 
fine, to have done with the matter once and for all, 
are we to do nothing except that which last comes 
to our hand? On this principle, why not advise 7 
farmers not to cultivate corn, vines, olives and 
orchard trees at the same time ? or from devoting 
themselves simultaneously to pastures, cattle, gar- 
dens, bees and poultry? Why do we ourselves daily 
allot some of our time to the business of the courts, 
some to the demands of our friends, some to our 
domestic affairs, some to the exercise of the body, 
and some even to our pleasures ? Any one of these 
occupations, if pursued without interruption, would 
fatigue us. So much easier is it to do many things 
than to do one thing for a long time continuously. 

We need have no fear at any rate that boys will 8 
find their work too exhausting: there is no age more 
capable of enduring fatigue. The fact may be sur- 
prising, but it can be proved by experiment. For 
the mind is all the easier to teach before it is set. This 9 
may be clearly proved by the fact that within two 
years after a child has begun to form words correctly, 
he can speak practically all without any pressure 
from outside. On the other hand how many years 



sermo Latinus repugnat. Magis scias, si quern iam 
robustum instituere litteris coeperis, non sine causa 
dici 7raiSo/za$eZ$ eos, qui in sua quidque arte optime 

10 faciant. Et patientior est laboris natura pueris 
quam iuvenibus. Videlicet, ut corpora infantium 
nee casus, quo in terram totiens deferuntur, tam 
graviter adfligit nee ilia per manus et genua reptatio 
nee post breve tempus continui lusus et totius diei 
discursus, quia pondus illis abest nee sese ipsi 
gravant : sic animi' quoque, credo, quia minore 
conatu moventur nee suo nisu studiis insistunt, sed 
formandos se tantummodo praestant, non similiter 

11 fatigantur. Praeterea secundum aliam aetatis illius 
facilitatem velut simplicius docenles sequuntur nee 
quae iam egerint metiuntur. Abest illis adhuc 
etiam laboris iudicium. Porro, ut frequenter experti 
sumus, minus adficit sensus fatigatio quam cogitatio. 

12 Sed ne temporis quidem unquam plus erit, quia 
his aetatibus omnis in audiendo profectus est. Cum 
ad stilum secedet, cum generabit ipse aliquid atque 
componet, turn inchoare haec studia vel non vacabit 

13 vel non libebit. Ergo cum grammaticus totum 
occupare diem non possit nee debeat, ne discentis 
animum taedio avertat, quibus potius studiis haec 

14 temporum velut subsiciva donabimus ? Nam nee 
ego consumi studentem in his artibus volo, nee 


BOOK I. xii. 9-14 

it takes for our newly-imported slaves to become 
familiar with the Latin language. Try to teach an 
adult to read and you will soon appreciate the force 
of the saying applied to those who do everything 
connected with their art with the utmost skill " he 
started young ! ' Moreover boys stand the strain of 10 
work better than young men. Just as small children 
suffer less damage from their frequent falls, from 
their crawling on hands and knees and, a little later, 
from their incessant play and their running about 
from morn till eve, because they are so light in 
weight and have so little to carry, even so their 
minds are less susceptible of fatigue, because their 
activity calls for less effort and application to study 
demands no exertion of their own, since they are 
merely so much plastic material to be moulded by 
the teacher. And further owing to the general 11 
pliability of childhood, they follow their instructors 
with greater simplicity and without attempting to 
measure their own progress : for as yet they do not 
even appreciate the nature of their work. Finally, as 
I have often noticed, the senses are less affected by 
mere hard work than they are by hard thinking. 

Moreover there will never be more time for such 12 
studies, since at this age all progress is made through 
listening to the teacher. Later when the boy has to 
write by himself, or to produce and compose some- 
thing out of his own head, he will neither have the time 
nor the inclination for the exercises which we have 
been discussing. Since, then, the teacher ofliterature 13 
neither can nor ought to occupy the whole day, for 
fear of giving his pupil a distaste for work, what are 
the studies to which the spare time should preferably 
be devoted ? For I do not wish the student to wear 14 



moduletur aut musicis notis cantica excipiat, nee 
utique ad minutissima usque geometriae opera de- 
scendat, non comoedum in pronuntiando nee salta- 
torem in gestu facio ; quae si omnia exigerem, 
suppeditabat tamen tempus. Longa est enim, quae 
discit, aetas, et ego non de tardis ingeniis loquor. 

15 Denique cur in his omnibus, quae discenda oratori 
futuro puto, eminuit Plato? qui non contentus 
disciplinis, quas praestare poterant Athenae, non 
Pythagoreorum, ad quos in Italiam navigaverat, 
Aegypti quoque sacerdotes adiit atque eorum arcana 

16 Difficultatis patrocinia praeteximus segnitiae. 
Neque enim nobis operis amor est, nee, quia sit 
honesta ac rerum pulcherrima eloquentia, petitur 
ipsa, sed ad venalem usum et sordidum lucrum 

17 accingimur. Dicant sine his in foro multi et 
adquirant, dum sit locupletior aliquis sordidae mercis 
negotiator et plus voci suae debeat praeco. Nee 
velim quidem lectorem dari mihi quid studia 

18 referant computaturum. Qui vero imaginem ipsam 
eloquentiae divina quadam mente conceperit, quique 
illam (ut ait non ignobilis tragicus) reginam rerum 
orationem ponet ante oculos, fructumque non ex 
stipe advocationum sed ex animo suo et contempla- 

1 Pacuvius (Ribbeck, 177). 

BOOK I. xii. 14-18 

himself out in such pursuits : I would not have him sing 
or learn to read music or dive deep into the minuter 
details of geometry,, nor need he be a finished actor in 
his delivery or a dancer in his gesture : if I did de- 
mand all these accomplishments,, there would yet be 
time for them ; the period allotted to education is 
longhand I am not speaking of duller wits. Why did 16 
Plato bear away the palm in all these branches of 
knowledge which in my opinion the future orator 
should learn? I answer, because he was not merely con- 
tent with the teaching which Athens was able to pro- 
vide or even with that of the Pythagoreans whom he 
visited in Italy, but even approached the priests of 
Egypt and made himself thoroughly acquainted with 
all their secret lore. 

The plea of the difficulty of the subject is put 16 
forward merely to cloak our indolence, because we 
do not love the work that lies before us nor seek to 
win eloquence for our own because it is a noble art 
and the fairest thing in all the world, but gird up 
our loins for mercenary ends and for the winning of 
filthy lucre. Without such accomplishments many may 17 
speak in the courts and make an income ; but it is 
my prayer that every dealer in the vilest merchandise 
may be richer than they and that the public crier 
may find his voice a more lucrative possession. And 
I trust that there is not one even among my readers 
who would think of calculating the monetary value 
of such studies. But he that has enough of the 18 
divine spark to conceive the ideal eloquence, he who, 
as the great tragic poet l says, regards " oratory " as 
"the queen of all the world" and seeks not the transi- 
tory gains of advocacy, but those stable and lasting 
rewards which his own soul and knowledge and 



tione ac scientia petet perpetuum ilium nee fortunae 
subiectum, facile persuadebit sibi, ut tempora, quae 
spectaculis, campo, tesseris, otiosis denique sermo- 
nibus, ne dicam somno et conviviorum mora con- 
teruntur, geometrae potius ac musico impendat, 
quanto plus delectationis habiturus quam ex illis 
19 ineruditis voluptatibus. Dedit enim hoc providentia 
hominibus munus, ut honesta magis iuvarent. Sed 
nos haec ipsa dulcedo longius duxit. Hactenus ergo 
de studiis, quibus, antequam maiora capiat, puer 
instituendus est ; proximus liber velut novum sumet 
exordium et ad rhetoris officia transibit. 


BOOK I. xii. 18-19 

contemplation can give, he will easily persuade him- 
self to spend his time not, like so many, in the theatre 
or in the Campus Martins, in dicing or in idle talk, 
to say naught of the hours that are wasted in sleep 
or long drawn banqueting, but in listening rather to 
the geometrician and the teacher of music. For by 
this he will win a richer harvest of delight than can 
ever be gathered from the pleasures of the ignorant, 
since among the many gifts of providence to man 
not the least is this that the highest pleasure is the 
child of virtue. But the attractions of my theme 19 
have led me to say overmuch. Enough of those 
studies in which a boy must be instructed, while he 
is yet too young to proceed to greater things ! My 
next book will start afresh and will pass to the con- 
sideration of the duties of the teacher of rhetoric. 




I. TENUIT consuetude, quae cotidie magis inva- 
lescit, ut praeceptoribus eloquentiae, Latinis quidem 
semper sed etiam Graecis interim, discipuli serius 
quam ratio postulat, traderentur. Eius rei duplex 
causa est, quod et rhetores utique nostri suas partes 
omiserunt et grammatici alienas occupaverunt. 

2 Nam et illi declamare modo et scientiam declamandi 
ac facultatem tradere officii sui ducunt, idque intra 
deliberativas iudicialesque materias (nam cetera ut 
professione sua minora despiciunt), et hi non satis 
credunt excepisse, quae relicta erant, (quo nomine 
gratia quoque iis babenda est), sed ad prosopopoeias 
usque ac suasorias, in quibus onus dicendi vel 

3 maximum est, irrumpunt. Hinc ergo accidit, ut, 
quae alterius artis prima erant opera, facta sint 
alterius novissima, et aetas altioribus iam disciplinis 
debita in schola minore subsidat ac rhetoricen apud 
grammaticos exerceat. Ita, quod est maxime ridi- 
culum, non ante ad declamandi magistrum mittendus 
videtur puer quam declamare sciat. 

1 suasoriae are declamations on deliberative themes (e.g. 
Hannibal deliberates whether he should cross the Alps). 



I. THE custom has prevailed arid is daily growing 
commoner of sending boys to the schools of rhetoric 
much later than is reasonable : this is always the 
case as regards Latin rhetoric and occasionally 
applies to Greek as well. The reason for this is 
twofold : the rhetoricians, more especially our own, 
have abandoned certain of their duties and the 
teachers of literature have undertaken tasks which 
rightly belong to others. For the rhetorician con- 2 
siders that his duty is merely to declaim and give 
instruction in the theory and practice of declamation 
and confines his activities to deliberative and judicial 
themes, regarding all others as beneath the dignity 
of his profession ; while the teacher of literature is 
not satisfied to take what is left him (and we owe 
him a debt of gratitude for this), but even presumes 
to handle declamations in character and deliberative 
themes, 1 tasks which impose the very heaviest burden 
on the speaker. Consequently subjects which once 3 
formed the first stages of rhetoric have come to 
form the final stages of a literary education, and 
boys who are ripe for more advanced study are kept 
back in the inferior school and practise rhetoric 
under the direction of teachers of literature. Thus 
we get the absurd result that a boy is not regarded 
as fit to go on to the schools of declamation till he 
knows how to declaim. 



4 Nos suuni cuique professioni modum demus. Et 
grainrnatice (quam in Latinum transferentes littera- 
turani vocaverunt) fines suos norit, praesertim 
tantum ab hac appellationis suae paupertate, intra 
quam primi illi constitere, provecta ; nam tenuis a 
fonte assumptis historicorum criticorumque viribus 
pleno iam satis alveo flu it, cum praeter rationem 
recte loquendi non parum alioqui copiosam prope 
omnium maximarum artium scientiam amplexa sit ; 

5 et rhetorice, cui nomen vis eloquendi dedit, officia 
sua non detrectet nee occupari gaudeat pertinentem 
ad se laborem, quae, dum opere cedit, iam paene 

G possessione depulsa est. Neque infitiabor, aliquem 
ex his, qui grammaticen profiteantur, eo usque 
scientiae progredi posse, ut ad haec quoque tradenda 
sufficiat ; sed cum id aget, rhetoris officio fungetur 
non suo. 

7 Nos porro quaerimus, quando iis, quae rhetorice 
praecipit, percipiendis puer maturus esse videatur. 
In quo quidem non id est aestimandum, cuius quis- 
que sit aetatis, sed quantum in studiis iam effecerit. 
Et ne diutius disseram, quando sit rhetori tradendus, 

8 sic optime finiri credo ; cum poterit. Sed hoc ipsum 
ex superiore pendet quaestione. Nam si gramma- 
tices muuus usque ad suasorias prorogating tardius 


BOOK II. i. 4-8 

The two professions must each be assigned their 4 
proper sphere. Grammatice, which we translate as 
the science of letters, must learn to know its own 
limits, especially as it has encroached so far beyond 
the boundaries to which its unpretentious name 
should restrict it and to which its earlier professors 
actually confined themselves. Springing from a tiny 
fountain-head, it has gathered strength from the 
historians and critics and has swollen to the dimen- 
sions of a brimming river, since, not content with the 
theory of correct speech, no inconsiderable subject, 
it has usurped the study of practically all the highest 
departments of knowledge. On the other hand 5 
rhetoric, which derives its name from the power of 
eloquence, must not shirk its peculiar duties nor re- 
joice to see its own burdens shouldered by others. 
For the neglect of these is little less than a surrender 
of its birthright. I will of course admit that there G 
may be a few professors of literature who have 
acquired sufficient knowledge to be able to teach rhe- 
toric as well ; but when they do so, they are perform- 
ing the duties of the rhetorician, not their own. 

A further point into which we must enquire con- ' 
cerns the age at which a boy may be considered 
sufficiently advanced to profit by the instructions of 
the rhetorician. In this connexion we must consider 
not the boy's actual age, but the progress he has 
made in his studies. To put it briefly, I hold that 
the best answer to the question " When should a 
boy be sent to the school of rhetoric ? " is this, 
" When he is fit." But this question is really depen- 8 
dent on that previously raised. For if the duties of 
the teacher of literature are prolonged to include 
instruction in deliberative declamation, this will 



rhetore opus est. At si rhetor prirna officia operis 
sui non recusat, a narrationibus statim et laudandi 
9 vituperandique opusculis cura eius desideratur. An 
ignoramus antiquis hoc fuisse ad augendam eloquen- 
tiam genus exercitationis, ut theses dicerent et 
communes locos et cetera citra complexum rerum 
personarumque, quibus verae fictaeque controversiae 
continentur ? Ex quo palam est, quam turpiter 
deserat earn partem rhetorices institutio, quam et 

10 primam habuit et diu solam. Quid autem est ex iis, 
de quibus supra dixi, quod non cum in alia, quae 
sunt propria rhetorum, turn certe in illud iudiciale 
causae genus incidat ? An non in foro narrandum 

1 1 est ? qua in parte nescio an sit vel plurimum. Non 
laus ac vituperatio certaminibus illis frequenter in- 
seritur ? Non communes loci, sive qui sunt in vitia 
derecti, quales legimus a Cicerone composites, seu 
quibus quaestiones generaliter tractantur, quales 
sunt editi a Quinto quoque Hortensio : ut, Sitne 
parvis argumentis credendum, et pro testibus et in 

12 testes, in mediis litium medullis versantur ? Arma 
sunt haec quodammodo praeparanda semper, ut iis, 
cum res poscet, utare. Quae qui pertinere ad ora- 

1 communes loci = passages dealing with some general 
principle or theme. For theses see II. iv. 24. 

2 controversiae are declamations on controversial or judicial 
themes. A general rule or law is stated : then a special case, 
which has to be solved in accordance with the law. An 
abbreviated controversia is to be found in I. x. 33, and they 
occur frequently hereafter (cp. esp. in. vi. 96). 


BOOK II. i. 8-12 

postpone the need for the rhetorician. On the other 
hand if the rhetorician does not refuse to undertake 
the first duties of his task, his instruction will be re- 
quired from the moment the boy begins to compose 
narratives and his first attempts at passages of praise 
or denunciation. We know that the orators of 9 
earlier days improved their eloquence by declaiming 
themes and common-places l and other forms of 
rhetorical exercises not involving particular circum- 
stances or persons such as provide the material for 
real or imaginary causes. 2 From this we can clearly 
see what a scandalous dereliction of duty it is for 
the schools of rhetoric to abandon this department 
of their work, which was not merely its first, but 
for a long time its sole task. What is there in 10 
those exercises of which I have just spoken that 
does not involve matters which are the special con- 
cern of rhetoric and further are typical of actual 
legal cases ? Have we not to narrate facts in 
the law-courts ? Indeed I am not sure that this is 
not the most important department of rhetoric in 
actual practice. Are not eulogy and denunciation 11 
frequently introduced in the course of the contests 
of the courts ? Are not common-places frequently 
inserted in the very heart of lawsuits, whether, like 
those which we find in the works of Cicero, they are 
directed against vice, or, like those published by 
Quintus Hortensius, deal with questions of general 
interest such as "whether small points of argu- 
ment should carry weight," or are employed to 
defend or impugn the credibility of witnesses ? 
These are weapons which we should always have 1 
stored in our armoury ready for immediate use as 
occasion may demand. The critic who denies that 



tionem non putabit, is ne statuam quidem inchoari 
credet, cum eius membra fundentur. Neque hanc 
(ut aliqui putabunt) festinationem meam sic quis- 
quam calumnietur, tanquam eum, qui sit rhetori 
traditus, abducendum protinus a grammaticis putem. 
13 Dabuntur et illis turn quoque tempora sua, neque 
erit verendum, ne binis praeceptoribus oneretur 
puer. Non enim crescet sed dividetur, qui sub uno 
miscebatur, labor, et erit sui quisque operis magister 
utilior ; quod adhuc obtinent Graeci, a Latinis omis- 
sum est, et fieri videtur excusate, quia sunt qui 
labori isti successerint. 

II. Ergo cum ad eas in studiis vires pervenerit 
puer, ut, quae prima esse praecepta rhetor um 
diximus, mente consequi possit, tradendus eius 
artis magistris erit ; quorum in primis inspici mores 

2 oportebit. Quod ego non idcirco potissimum in hac 
parte tractare sum aggressus, quia non in ceteris 
quoque doctoribus idem hoc examinandum quam 
diligentissime putem, sicut testatus sum libro priore ; 
sed quod magis necessariam eius rei mentionem 

3 facit aetas ipsa discentium. Nam et adulti fere 
pueri ad hos praeceptores transferuntur et apud eos 
iuvenes etiam facti perseverant ; ideoque maior 


BOOK II. i. I2-H. 3 

such matters concern an orator is one who will 
refuse to believe that a statue is being begun 
when its limbs are actually being cast. Some will 
think that I am in too great a hurry, but let no one 
accuse me of thinking that the pupil who has been 
entrusted to the rhetorician should forthwith be 
withdrawn from the teacher of literature. The latter 13 
will still have certain hours allotted him, and there 
is no reason to fear that a bov will be overloaded by 
receiving instruction from two different masters. It 
will not mean any increase of work, but merely the 
division among two masters of the studies which 
were previously indiscriminately combined under one : 
and the efficiency of either teacher will be increased. 
This method is still in vogue among the Greeks, but 
has been abandoned by us, not perhaps without some 
excuse, as there were others ready to step into the 
rhetorician's shoes. 

II. As soon therefore as a boy has made sufficient 
progress in his studies to be able to follow what I 
have styled the first stage of instruction in rhetoric, 
he should be placed under a rhetorician. Our first 
task must be to enquire whether the teacher is of 
good character. The reason which leads me to deal 2 
with this subject in this portion of my work is not 
that I regard character as a matter of indifference 
where other teachers are concerned, (I have already 
shown how important I think it in the preceding 
book), but that the age to which the pupil has now 
attained makes the mention of this point especially 
necessary. For as a rule boys are on the verge of 3 
manhood when transferred to the teacher of rhetoric 
and continue with him even when they are young 
men : consequently we must spare no effort to secure 



adhibenda turn cura est, ut et teneriores annos ab 
iniuria sanctitas docentis custodial et ferociores a 

4 licentia gravitas deterreat. Neque vero sat est 
summam praestare abstinentiam, nisi disciplinae 
severitate convenientium quoque ad se mores 

5 Sumat igitur ante omnia parentis erga discipulos 
suos animum, ac succedere se in eorum locum, a 
quibus sibi liberi tradantur, existimet. Ipse nee 
habeat vitia nee ferat. Non austeritas eius tristis, 
non dissoluta sit comitas, ne inde odium hinc con- 
temptus oriatur. Plurimus ei de honesto ac bono 
sermo sit ; nam quo saepius monuerit, hoc rarius 
castigabit. Minime iracundus,, nee tamen eorum, 
quae emendanda erunt, dissimulator, simplex in 
docendo, patiens laboris, assiduus potius quam 

6 immodicus. Interrogantibus libenter respondeat, 
non interrogantes percontetur ultro. In laudandis 
discipulorum dictionibus nee malignus nee effusus, 
quia res altera taedium laboris, altera securitatem 

7 parit. In emendando, quae corrigenda erunt, non 
acerbus minimeque contumeliosus ; nam id quidem 
multos a proposito studendi fugat, quod quidam sic 

8 obiurgant quasi oderint. Ipse aliquid immo multa 

cotidie dicat, quae secum auditores referant. Licet 
enim satis exemplorum ad imitandum ex lectione 


BOOK II. ii. 3-8 

that the purity of the teacher's character should 
preserve those of tenderer years from corruption, 
while its authority should keep the bolder spirits 
from breaking out into licence. Nor is it sufficient 4 


that he should merely set an example of the highest 
personal self-control ; he must also be able to govern 
the behaviour of his pupils by the strictness of his 

Let him therefore adopt a parental attitude to his 5 
pupils, and regard himself as the representative of 
those who have committed their children to his 
charge. Let him be free from vice himself and 
refuse to tolerate it in others. Let him be strict but 
not austere, genial but not too familiar : for austerity 
will make him unpopular, while familiarity breeds 
contempt. Let his discourse continually turn on what 
is good and honourable ; the more he admonishes, 
the less he will have to punish. He must control 
his temper without however shutting his eyes to 
faults requiring correction : his instruction must be 
free from affectation, his industry great, his demands 
on his class continuous, but not extravagant. He 6 
must be ready to answer questions and to put 
them unasked to those who sit silent. In praising 
the recitations of his pupils he must be neither 
grudging nor over-generous : the former quality will 
give them a distaste for work, while the latter will 
produce a complacent self-satisfaction. In correcting 7 
faults he must avoid sarcasm and above all abuse : 
for teachers whose rebukes seem to imply positive 
dislike discourage industry. He should declaim 8 
daily himself and, what is more, without stint, that 
his class may take his utterances home with them. 
For however many models for imitation he may 



suppeditet, tamen viva ilia, ut dicitur, vox alit 
plenius praecipueque eius praeceptoris, quern dis- 
cipuli, si modo recte sunt instituti, et amant et 
verentur. Vix auteni dici potest, quanto libentius 
imitemur eos, quibus favemus. 

9 Minima vero permittenda pueris, ut fit apud 
plerosque, adsurgendi exultandique in laudando 
licentia ; quin etiam iuveiium modicum esse, cum 
audient, testimonium debet. Ita net, ut ex iudicio 
praeceptoris discipuius pendeat, atque id se dixisse 

10 recte, quod ab eo probabitur, credat. Ilia vero 
vitiosissima, quae iam humanitas vocatur, invicem 
qualiacunque laudandi, cum est indecora et thea- 
tralis et severe institutes scholis aliena, turn studi- 
orum perniciosissima hostis. Supervacua enim 
videntur cura ac labor, parata, quidquid eff'uderint, 

11 laude. Vultum igitur praeceptoris intueri tarn, qui 
audiunt, debent, quam ipse qui dicit ; ita enim pro- 
banda atque improbanda discernet, si stilo facultas 

12 continget, auditione indicium. At mine proni atque 
succincti ad omnem clausulam non exsurgunt modo 
verum etiam excurrunt et cum indecora exultatione 
conclamant. Id mutuum est et ibi declamationis 


BOOK II. ii. 8-12 

give them from the authors they are reading, it will 
still be found that fuller nourishment is provided by 
the living voice, as we call it, more especially when 
it proceeds from the teacher himself, who, if his 
pupils are rightly instructed, should be the object 
of their affection and respect. And it is scarcely 
possible to say how much more readily we imitate 
those whom we like. 

I strongly disapprove of the prevailing practice of 9 
allowing boys to stand up or leap from the seats in 
the expression of their applause. Young men, even 
when they are listening to others, should be 
temperate in manifesting their approval. If this 
be insisted upon, the pupil will depend on his 
instructor's verdict and will take his approval as 
a guarantee that he has spoken well. The worst 10 
form of politeness, as it has come to be called, is 
that of mutual and indiscriminate applause, a practice 
which is unseemly, theatrical and unworthy of a 
decently disciplined school, in addition to being the 
worst foe to genuine study. For if every effusion is 
greeted with a storm of ready-made applause, care 
and industry come to be regarded as superfluous. 
The audience no less than the speaker should there- 11 
fore keep their eyes fixed on their teacher's face, since 
thus they will learn to distinguish between what is 
praiseworthy and what is not: for just as writing 
gives facility, so listening begets the critical 
faculty. But in the schools of to-day we see boys 12 
stooping forward ready to spring to their feet : at 
the close of each period they not merely rise, but 
rush forward with shouts of unseemly enthusiasm. 
Such compliments are mutual and the success of a 
declamation consists in this kind of applause. The 



fortuna. Hinc tumor et vana de se persuasio usque 
adeo, ut illo condiscipulorum tumultu inflati, si parum 
a praeceptore laudentur, ipsi de illo male sentiant. 

13 Sed se quoque praeceptores intente ac modeste 
audiri velint ; non enirn iudicio discipulorum dicere 
debet magister sed discipulus magistri. Quin, si 
fieri potest, intendendus animus in hoc quoque, ut 
perspiciat, quae quisque et quomodo laudet, et 
placere, quae bene dicet, non suo magis quam eorum 
nomine delectetur, qui recte iudicabunt. 

14 Pueros adolescer.tibus permixtos sedere, non 
placet mihi. Nam etiamsi vir talis, qualem esse 
oportet studiis moribusque praepositum, modestam 
habere potest etiam iuventutem, tamen vel infirmi- 
tas a robustioribus separanda est, et carendum non 
soluni crimine turpitudinis verum etiam suspicione. 

15 Haec notanda breviter existimavi ; nam ut absit 
ab ultimis vitiis ipse ac schola, ne praecipiendum 
quidem credo. Ac si quis est, qui flagitia manifesta 
in eligendo filii praeceptore non vitet, iam hinc 
sciat cetera quoque, quae ad utilitatem iuventutis 
componere conamur, esse sibi hac parte omissa 

III. Ne illorum quidem persuasio silentio transe- 


BOOK II. ii. 12-in. i 

result is vanity and empty self-sufficiency, carried to 
such an extent that, intoxicated by the wild enthus- 
iasm of their fellow-pupils, they conceive a spite 
against their master, if his praise does not come up 
to their expectation. But teachers must also insist 13 
on receiving an attentive and quiet hearing from the 
class when they themselves declaim. For the 
master should not speak to suit his pupil's standard, 
but they should speak to suit his. Further he should, 
if possible, keep his eyes open to note the points 
which each boy praises and observe the manner in 
which he expresses his approval, and should rejoice 
that his words give pleasure not only for his own 
sake, but for that of those who show sound judg- 
ment in their appreciation. 

I do not approve of boys sitting mixed with young 14 
men. For even if the teacher be such an one as we 
should desire to see in charge of the morals and 
studies of the young, and can keep his youthful 
pupils under proper control, it is none the less 
desirable to keep the weaker members separate from 
the more mature, and to avoid not only the actual 
charge of corruption but the merest suspicion of it. 
I have thought it worth while to put my views on 15 
this subject quite briefly. For I do not think it 
necessary even to warn the teacher that both he and 
his school must be free from the grosser vices. And 
should there be any father who does not trouble to 
choose a teacher for his son who is free from the 
obvious taint of immorality, he may rest assured 
that all the other precepts, which I am attempting 
to lay down for the benefit of our youth, will be 
absolutely useless to him, if he neglects this. 

III. I do not think that I should pass by in silence 



unda est, qui, etiam cum idoneos rhetori pueros 
putaverunt, non tamen continue tradendos emi- 
nentissimo credunt, sed apud minores aliquamdiu 
detinent, tanquam instituendis artibus magis sit 
apta mediocritas praeceptoris, cum ad intellectum 
atque ad imitationem facilior turn ad suscipiendas 

2 elementorum molestias minus superba. Qua in re 
mihi non arbitror diu laborandum, ut ostendam, 
quanto sit melius optimis imbui, quanta in eluendis 
quae semel insederint vitiis difficultas consequatur, 
cum geminatum onus succedentes premat et quidem 

3 dedocendi gravius ac prius quam docendi. Propter 
quod Timotbeum clarum in arte tibiarum ferunt 
duplices ab iis, quos alius instituisset, solitum exigere 
mercedes, quam si rudes traderentur. Error tamen 
est in re duplex : unus, quod interim sufficere illos 
minores existimant, et bono sane stomacho contenti 

4 sunt ; quae quanquam est ipsa reprehensione digna 
securitas, tameri esset utcunque tolerabilis, si eius- 
modi praeceptores minus docerent non peius ; alter 
ille etiam frequentior, quod eos, qui ampliorem 
dicendi facultatem sint consecuti, non putant ad 
minora descendere, idque interim fieri, quia fas- 
tidiant praestare hanc inferioribus curam, interim 

6 quia omnino non possint. Ego porro eum qui nolit 


BOOK If. in. 1-5 

even the opinion of those who, even when they 
regard boys as ripe for the rhetorician,, still do not 
think that they should at once be placed under the 
most eminent teacher available, but prefer to keep 
them for a while under inferior masters, on the 
ground that in the elementary stages a mediocre 
instructor is easier to understand and to imitate, and 
less reluctant to undertake the tiresome task of teach- 
ing the rudiments as being beneath his notice. I do 2 
not think that I need waste much time in pointing 
out how much better it is to absorb the best possible 
principles, or how hard it is to get rid of faults which 
have once become engrained ; for it places a double 
burden on the shoulders of the later teacher and 
the preliminary task of unteaching is harder than 
that of teaching. It is for this reason that the 3 
famous piper Timotheus is said to have demanded 
from those who had previously been under another 
master a fee double the amount which he charged 
for those w r ho came to him untaught. The mistake 
to which I am referring is, however, twofold. First 
they regard these inferior teachers as adequate for 
the time being and are content with their instruction 
because they have a stomach that will swallow any- 
thing : this indifference, though blameworthy in 4 
itself, would yet be tolerable, if the teaching provided 
by these persons were merely less in quantity and 
not inferior in quality as well. Secondly, and this 
is a still commoner delusion, they think that those 
who are blest with greater gifts of speaking will not 
condescend to the more elementary details, and that 
consequently they sometimes disdain to give atten- 
tion to such inferior subjects of study and sometimes 
are incapable of so doing. For my part I regard the 5 



in numero praecipientium non habeo, posse autem 
maxima, si velit, optimum quemque contendo : 
primum, quod eum, qui eloquentia ceteris praestet, 
ilia quoque, per quae ad eloquentiam pervenitur, 

6 diligentissime percepisse credibile est ; deinde, quia 
plurimum in praecipiendo valet ratio, quae doctis- 
simo cuique plenissima est ; postremo, quia nemo 
sic in maioribus eminet, ut eum minora deficiant. 
Nisi forte lovem quidem Phidias optime fecit, ilia 
autem, quae in ornamentum operis eius accedunt, 
alius melius elaborasset, aut orator loqui nesciet aut 
leviores morbos curare non poterit praestantissimus 

7 Quid ergo ? non est quaedam eloquentia maior 
quam ut earn intellectu consequi puerilis infirmitas 
possit ? Ego vero confiteor : sed huiic disertum 
praeceptorem prudentem quoque et non ignarum 
docendi esse oportebit summittentem se ad men- 
suram discentis ; ut velocissimus quoque, si forte 
iter cum parvulo faciat, det manum et gradum 
suum minuat nee procedat ultra quam comes pos- 

8 sit. Quid ? si plerumque accidit ut faciliora sint 
ad intelligendum et lucidiora multo, quae a doc- 
tissimo quoque dicuntur? Nam et prima est elo- 
quentiae virtus perspicuitas, et quo quis ingenio 
minus valet, hoc se magis attollere et dilatare 
conatur, ut statura breves in digitos eriguntur 

BOOK II. in. 5-8 

teacher who is unwilling to attend to such details 
as being unworthy of the name of teacher : and as 
for the question of capacity, I maintain that it is the 
most capable man who, given the will, is able to do 
this with most efficiency. For in the first place it is a 
reasonable inference that a man blest with abnormal 
powers of eloquence will have made careful note of 
the various steps by which eloquence is attained, 
and in the second place the reasoning faculty, which 6 
is specially developed in learned men, is all-important 
in teaching, while finally no one is eminent in the 
greater things of his art if he be lacking in the lesser. 
Unless indeed we are asked to believe that while 
Phidias modelled his Jupiter to perfection, the 
decorative details of the statue would have been 
better executed by another artist, or that an orator 
does not know how to speak, or a distinguished 
physician is incapable of treating minor ailments. 

" Yes " it may be answered " but surely you do not 7 
deny that there is a type of eloquence that is 
too great to be comprehended by undeveloped 
boys?" Of course there is. But this eloquent 
teacher whom they fling in my face must be a 
sensible man with a good knowledge of teaching and 
must be prepared to stoop to his pupil's level, just as 
a rapid walker, if walking with a small child, will 
give him his hand and lessen his own speed and 
avoid advancing at a pace beyond the powers of his 
little companion. Again it frequently happens that 8 
the more learned the teacher, the more lucid and 
intelligible is his instruction. For clearness is the 
first virtue of eloquence, and the less talented a man 
is, the more he will strive to exalt and dilate himself, 
just as short men tend to walk on tip-toe and weak 



9 et pi ura infirmi minantur. Nam tumidos et cor 
ruptos et tinnulos et quocunque alio cacozeliae 
genere peccantes certum habeo non virium sed in- 
firmitatis vitio laborare, ut corpora non robore sed 
valetudine inflantur et recto itinere lassi plerumque 
devertunt. Erit ergo etiam obscurior, quo quisque 

10 Non excidit mihi, scripsisse me in libro priore, cum 
potiorem in scholis eruditionem esse quam domi 
dicerem, libentius se prima studia tenerosque pro- 
fectus ad imitationem condiscipulorum, quae facilior 
esset, erigere ; quod a quibusdam sic accipi potest, 
tanquam haee, quam mine tueor, sententia priori 

11 diversa sit. Id a me procul aberit ; namque ea 
causa vel maxima est, cur optimo cuique praeceptori 
sit tradendus puer, quod apud eum discipuli quoque 
melius instituti aut dicent, quod inutile non sit 
imitari, aut si quid erraverint, statim corrigentur ; at 
indoctus ille etiam probabit fortasse vitiosa et placere 

12 audientibus iudicio suo coget. Sit ergo tarn elo- 
quentia quam moribus praestantissimus, qui ad 
Phoenicis Homerici exemplum dicere ac facere 


BOOK II. HI. 8-12 

men to use threats. As for those whose style is 9 
inflated or vicious, and whose language reveals a 
passion for high-sounding words or labours under 
any other form of affectation, in my opinion they 
suffer not from excess of strength but of weakness, 
like bodies swollen not with the plumpness of 
health but with disease, or like men who weary of 
the direct road betake them to bypaths. Conse- 
quently the worse a teacher is, the harder he will 
be to understand. 

I have not forgotten that I stated in the preced- 10 
ing book, when I urged that school was preferable 
to home education, that pupils at the commence- 
ment of their studies, when progress is as yet 
but in the bud, are more disposed to imitate their 
schoolfellows than their masters, since such imitation 
comes more easily to them. Some of my readers 
may think that the view which I am now maintaining 
is inconsistent with my previous statement. But 111 
am far from being inconsistent : for my previous 
assertion affords the strongest reason for selecting the 
very best teachers for our boys ; since pupils of a 
first rate master, having received a better training, 
will when they speak say something that may be 
worthy of imitation, while if they commit some 
mistake, they will be promptly corrected. But the 
incompetent teacher on the other hand is quite 
likely to give his approval to faulty work and by the 
judgment which he expresses to force approval 
on the audience. The teacher should therefore be 12 
as distinguished for his eloquence as for his good 
character, and like Phoenix in the Iliad be able to 
teach his pupil both how to behave and how to 



IV. Hinc iam, quas primas in docendo partes 
rhetorum putem, tradere incipiam, dilata parumper 
ilia quae sola vulgo vocatur arte rhetorica. Ac mihi 
opportunus maxime videtur ingressus ab eo, cuius 
aliquid simile apud grammaticos puer didicerit. 

2 Et quia narrationum, excepta qua in causis utimur, 
tres accepimus species, fabulam, quae versatur in 
tragoediis atque carminibus, non a veritate modo sed 
etiam a forma veritatis remota ; argunientum, quod 
falsum sed vero simile comoediae fingunt ; historian^ 
in qua est gestae rei expositio ; grammaticis autem 
poeticas dedimus : apud rhetorem initium sit his- 

3 torica, tanto robustior quanto verier. Sed narrandi 
quidem quae nobis optima ratio videatur, turn de- 
monstrabimus, cum de iudiciali parte dicemus. 
Interim admonere illud satis est, ut sit ea neque 
arida prorsus atque ieiuna, (nam quid opus erat 
tantum studiis laboris impendere, si res nudas atque 
inornatas indicare satis videretur ?) neque rursus 
sinuosa et arcessitis descriptionibus, in quas plerique 
imitatione poeticae licentiae ducuntur, lasciviat. 

4 Vitium utrumque, peius tamen illud, quod ex inopia 

1 With special reference to the element of the miraculous. 
Ovid's Metamorphoses would give a good example. 

2 Book IV. chap. ii. 


BOOK II. iv. 1-4 

IV. I shall now proceed to indicate what I think 
should be the first subjects in which the rhetorician 
should give instruction, and shall postpone for a 
time our consideration of the art of rhetoric in the 
narrow sense in which that term is popularly used. 
For in my opinion it is most desirable that we 
should commence with something resembling the 
subjects already acquired under the teacher of 

Now there are three forms of narrative, without 2 
counting the type used in actual legal cases. First 
there is the fictitious narrative as we get it in 
tragedies and poems, which is not merely not true 
but has little resemblance to truth. 1 Secondly, there 
is the realistic narrative as presented by comedies, 
which, though not true, has yet a certain verisimili- 
tude. Thirdly there is the historical narrative, which 
is an exposition of actual fact. Poetic narratives 
are the property of the teacher of literature. The 
rhetorician therefore should begin with the his- 
torical narrative, whose force is in proportion to its 
truth. I will, however, postpone my demonstration 3 
of what I regard as the best method of narration 
till I come to deal with narration as required in the 
courts. 2 In the meantime, it vrill be sufficient to 
urge that it should be neither dry nor jejune (for 
why spend so much labour over our studies if a bald 
and naked statement of fact is regarded as sufficiently 
expressive ?) ; nor on the other hand must it be 
tortuous or revel in elaborate descriptions, such 
as those in w r hich so many are led to indulge 
by a misguided imitation of poetic licence. Both 4 
these extremes are faults; but that which springs 
from poverty of wit is worse than that which is due 



quam quod ex copia venit. Nam in pueris oratio 
perfecta nee exigi nee sperari potest ; melior autem 
indoles laeta generosique conatus et vel plura iusto 

5 concipiens interim spiritus. Nee unquam me in his 
discentis annis offendat, si quid superfuerit. Quin 
ipsis quoque doctoribus hoc esse curae velim, ut 
teneras adhuc mentes more nutricum mollius alant 
et satiari velut quodam iucundioris disciplinae lacte 
patiantur. Erit illud plenius interim corpus, quod 

6 mox adulta aetas astringat. Hinc spes roboris. 
Maciem namque et infirmitatem in posterum minari 
solet protinus omnibus membris expressus infans. 
Audeat haec aetas plura et inveniat et inventis 
gaudeat, sint licet ilia non satis sicca interim ac 
severa. Facile remedium est ubertati ; sterilia nullo 

7 labore vincuntur. Ilia mihi in pueris natura mini- 
mum spei dederit, in qua ingenium iudicio praesumi- 
tur. Materiam esse primum volo vel abundantiorem 
atque ultra quam oporteat fusam. Multum inde 
decoquent anni, multum ratio limabit, aliquid velut 
usu ipso deteretur, sit modo unde excidi possit et 
quod exsculpi ; erit autem, si non ab initio tenuem 
nimium laminam duxerimus et quam caelatura altior 

8 rumpat. Quod me de his aetatibus sentire minus 


BOOK II. iv. 4-8 

to imaginative excess. For we cannot demand or 
expect a perfect style from boys. But there is 
greater promise in a certain luxuriance of mind, in 
ambitious effort and an ardour that leads at times to 
ideas bordering on the extravagant. I have no ob- 5 
jection to a little exuberance in the young learner. 
Nay, I would urge teachers too like nurses to be 
careful to provide softer food for still undeveloped 
minds and to suffer them to take their fill of the milk 
of the more attractive studies. For the time being 
the body may be somewhat plump, but maturer years 
will reduce it to a sparer habit. Such plumpness 6 
gives hope of strength ; a child fully formed in 
every limb is likely to grow up a puny weakling. 
The young should be more daring and inventive 
and should rejoice in their inventions, even though 
correctness and severity are still to be acquired. 
Exuberance is easilv remedied, but barrenness is 


incurable, be your efforts what they may. To my 7 
mind the boy who gives least promise is one in 
whom the critical faculty develops in advance of the 
imagination. I like to see the firstfruits of the mind 
copious to excess and almost extravagant in their 
profusion. The years as they pass will skim off 
much of the froth, reason will file away many 
excrescences, and something too will be removed 
by what I may perhaps call the wear and tear of 
life, so long as there is sufficient material to admit 
of cutting and chiselling away. And there will 
be sufficient, if only we do not draw the plate too 
thin to begin with, so that it runs the risk of being 
broken if the graver cut too deep. Those of my 8 
readers who know their Cicero will not be surprised 



mirabitur, qui apud Ciceronera legerit : Volo enim 
se efferat in adolescente fecunditas. 

Quapropter in primis evitandus et in pueris 
praecipue magister aridus, non minus quam teneris 
adhuc plantis siccum et sine humore ullo solum. 
9 Inde fiunt humiles statim et velut terram spectantes, 
qui nihil supra cotidianum sermonem attollere 
audeant. Macies illis pro sanitate et iudicii loco 
infirmitas est, et dum satis putant vitio carere, in id 
ipsum incidunt vitium, quod virtutibus carent. 
Quare mihi ne maturitas quidem ipsa festinet, nee 
musta in lacu statim austera sint ; sic et annos ferent 
et vetustate proficient. 

10 Ne illud quidem quod admoneamus indignum 
est, ingenia puerorum nimia interim emendationis 
severitate deficere ; nam et desperant et dolent et 
novissime oderunt et, quod maxime nocet, dum 

11 omnia timent, nihil conantur. Quod etiam rusticis 
notum est, qui frondibus teneris non putant adhi- 
bendam esse falcem, quia reformidare ferrum viden- 

12 tur et nondum cicatricem pati posse. lucundus 
ergo turn maxime debet esse praeceptor, ut remedia, 
quae alioqui natura sunt aspera, molli manu leni- 
antur ; laudare aliqua, ferre quaedam, mutare etiam, 
reddita cur id fiat ratione, illuminare interponendo 

1 de Or. ii. xxi. 88. 

2 cp. Verg. G. ii. 369, ante rejormidant Jerrum. 


BOOK II. iv. 8-12 

that I take this view : for does he not say " I would 
have the youthful mind run riot in the luxuriance of 
its growth " ? l 

We must, therefore, take especial care, above 
all where boys are concerned, to avoid a dry 
teacher, even as we avoid a dry and arid soil for 
plants that are still young and tender. For with 9 
such a teacher their growth is stunted and their 
eyes are turned earthwards, and they are afraid to 
rise above the level of daily speech. Their leanness 
is regarded as a sign of health and their weakness as 
a sign of sound judgment, and while they are con- 
tent that their work should be devoid of faults they 
fall into the fault of being devoid of merit. So let 
not the ripeness of vintage come too soon nor the 
must turn harsh while yet in the vat ; thus it will 
last for years and mellow with age. 

It is worth while too to warn the teacher that 10 
undue severity in correcting faults is liable at times 
to discourage a boy's mind from effort. He loses 
hope and gives way to vexation, then last of all 
comes to hate his work and fearing everything at- 
tempts nothing. This phenomenon is familiar to 11 
farmers, who hold that the pruning-hook should not 
be applied while the leaves are yet young, for they 
seem to "shrink from the steel" 2 and to be unable 
as yet to endure a scar. The instructor therefore 12 
should be as kindly as possible at this stage ; reme- 
dies, which are harsh by nature, must be applied with 
a gentle hand : some portions of the work must be 
praised, others tolerated and others altered : the 
reason for the alterations should however be given, 
and in some cases the master will illumine an 
obscure passage by inserting something of his own. 



aliquid sui. Nonnunquam hoc quoque erit utile, 
ipsum totas dictare materias, quas et imitetur puer 

13 et interim tanquam suas amet. At si tarn negligens 
ei stilus fuerit, ut emendationem non recipiat ; 
expertus sum prodesse, quotiens eandem materiam 
rursus a me tractatam scribere de integro iuberem; 
posse enim adhuc eum melius, quatenus nullo magis 

14 studia quam spe gaudent. Aliter autem alia aetas 
emendanda est, et pro modo virium et exigendum 
et corrigendum opus. Solebam ego dicere pueris 
aliquid ausis licentius aut laetius, laudure illud me 
adhuc, venturum tempus, quo idem non permit- 
terem ; ita et ingenio gaudebant et iudicio non 

15 Sed ut eo revertar, unde sum digressus : narra- 
tiones stilo componi quanta maxima possit adhibita 
diligentia volo. Nam ut primo, cum sermo institu- 
itur, dicere quae audierint utile est pueris ad 
loquendi facultatem, ideoque et retro agere exposi- 
tionem et a media in utramque partem discurrere 
sane merito cogantur, sed ad gremium praeceptoris, 
et dum aliud l non possunt et dum res ac verba con- 
nectere incipiunt, ut protinus memoriam firment : 
ita cum iam formam rectae atque emendatae ora- 

1 aliud, added by Ed. Gryphiana. 

BOOK II. iv. 12-15 

Occasionally again the teacher will find it useful to 
dictate whole themes himself that the boy may 
imitate them and for the time being love them as if 
they were his own. But if a boy's composition is so 13 
careless as not to admit of correction, I have found 
it useful to give a fresh exposition of the theme and 
to tell him to write it again, pointing out that he 
was capable of doing better : for there is nothing 
like hope for making study a pleasure. Different 14 
ages however demand different methods : the task 
set and the standard of correction must be propor- 
tioned to the pupil's strength. When boys ventured 
on something that was too daring or exuberant, I 
used to say to them that I approved of it for the 
moment, but that the time would come when I 
should no longer tolerate such a style. The result 
was that the consciousness of ability filled them with 
pleasure, without blinding their judgment. 

However, to return to the point from which I had 15 
digressed. Written narratives should be composed 
with the utmost care. It is useful at first, when a 
child has just begun to speak, to make him repeat 
what he has heard with a view to improving his 
powers of speech ; and for the same purpose, and 
with good reason, I would make him tell his story 
from the end back to the beginning or start in the 
middle and go backwards or forwards, but only so 
long as he is at his teacher's knee and while he is 
incapable of greater effort and is beginning to con- 
nect words and things, thereby strengthening the 
memory. Even so when he is beginning to under- 
stand the nature of correct and accurate speech, 
extempore effusions, improvised without waiting 
for thought to supply the matter or a moment's 



tionis accipient, extemporalis garrulitas nee exspec- 
tata cogitatio et vix surgendi mora circulatoriae 

16 vere iactationis est. Hinc parentium imperitorum 
inane gaudium, ipsis vero contemptus operis et in- 
verecunda frons et consuetude pessime dicendi et 
malorum exercitatio et, quae magnos quoque pro- 
fectus frequenter perdidit, arrogans de se persuasio 

17 innascitur. Erit suum parandae facilitati tempus, 
nee a nobis negligenter locus iste transibitur. In- 
terim satis est, si puer omni cura et summo, quantum 
ilia aetas capit, labore aliquid probabile scripserit ; 
in hoc assuescat, huius sibi rei naturam faciat. 
Ille demum in id, quod quaerimus, aut ei proximum 
poterit evadere, qui ante discet recte dicere quam 

18 Narrationibus non inutiliter subiungitur opus 
destruendi confirmandique eas, quod avaa-Kfv^ et 
Karao-Kev?? vocatur. Id porro non tantum in fabulosis 
et carmine traditis fieri potest, verum etiam in ipsis 
annalium monumentis ; ut, si quaeratur, an sit credi- 
bile super caput Valeri pugnantis sedisse corvum, 
qui os oculosque hostis Galli rostro atque alls ever- 
beraret, sit in utramque partem ingens ad dicendum 

19 materia ; aut de serpente, quo Scipio traditur genitus, 
et lupa Romuli et Egeria Numae. Nam Graecis 
historiis plerumque poeticae similis licentia est. 

1 See Aul. Cell. vii. i. 

BOOK II. iv. 15-19 

hesitation before rising to the feet, must not be per- 
mitted : they proceed from a passion for display that 
would do credit to a common mountebank. Such 16 
proceedings fill ignorant parents with senseless pride, 
while the boys themselves lose all respect for their 
work, adopt a conceited bearing, and acquire the 
habit of speaking in the worst style and actually prac- 
tising their faults, while they develop an arrogant con- 
viction of their own talents which often proves fatal 
even to the most genuine proficiency. There will be 17 
a special time for acquiring fluency of speech and I 
shall not pass the subject by unnoticed. For the mean- 
time it will suffice if a boy, by dint of taking pains and 
working as hard as his age will permit, manages to 
produce something worthy of approval. Let him get 
used to this until it becomes a second nature. It is 
only he who learns to speak correctly before he can 
speak with rapidity who will reach the heights that 
are our goal or the levels immediately below them. 

To narratives is annexed the task of refuting and 18 
confirming them, styled anaskeue and kataskeue, from 
which no little advantage may be derived. This may 
be done not merely in connexion with fiction and 
stories transmitted by the poets, but with the actual 
records of history as well. For instance we may dis- 
cuss the credibility of the story that a raven settled 
on the head of Valerius in the midst of a combat and 
with its wings and beak struck the eyes of the Gaul 
who was his adversary, and a quantity of arguments 
may be produced on either side : or we may discuss 19 
the tradition that Scipio 1 was begotten by a serpent, 
or that Romulus was suckled by the she-wolf, or the 
story of Numa and Egeria. As regards Greek his- 
tory, it allows itself something very like poetic 

2 33 


Saepe etiam quaeri solet de tempore, de loco quo 
gesta res dicitur, nonnunquam de persona quoque ; 
sicut Livius frequentissime dubitat, et alii ab aliis 
historic! dissentiunt. 

20 Inde paulatim ad maiora tendere incipiet, laudare 
claros viros et vituperare improbos, quod non sim- 
plicis utilitatis opus est. Namque et ingenium 
exercetur multiplici variaque materia, et animus 
contemplatione recti pravique formatur, et multa 
inde cognitio rerum venit exemplisque, quae sunt in 
omni genere causarum potentissima, iam turn in- 

21 struit, cum res poscet, usurum. Hinc ilia quoque 
exercitatio subit comparationis, uter melior uterve 
deterior ; quae quanquam versatur in ratione simili, 
tamen et duplicat materiam et virtutum vitiorumque 
non tantum naturam, sed etiam modum tractat. 
Verum de ordine laudis contraque, quoniam tertia 
haec rhetorices pars est, praecipiemus suo tempore. 

22 Communes loci (de iis loquor, quibus citra per- 
sonas in ipsa vitia moris est perorare, ut in adul- 
terum, aleatorem, petulantem) ex mediis sunt 
iudiciis et_, si reum adiicias, accusationes ; quanquam 
hi quoque ab illo general! tractatu ad quasdam de- 
duci species solent, ut si ponatur adulter caecus, 
aleator pauper, petulans senex. Habent autem 

1 Book III. chap. vii. 

BOOK II. iv. 19-22 

licence. Again the time and place of some particu- 
lar occurrence and sometimes even the persons con- 
cerned often provide matter for discussion : Livy for 
instance is frequently in doubt as to what actually 
occurred and historians often disagree. 

From this our pupil will begin to proceed to more 20 
important themes, such as the praise of famous men 
and the denunciation of the wicked. Such tasks are 
profitable in more than one respect. The mind is 
exercised by the variety arid multiplicity of the sub- 
ject matter, while the character is moulded by the 
contemplation of virtue and vice. Further wide 
knowledge of facts is thus acquired, from which ex- 
amples may be drawn if circumstances so demand, 
such illustrations being of the utmost value in every 
kind of case. It is but a step from this to practice 21 
in the comparison of the respective merits of two 
characters. This is of course a very similar theme 
to the preceding, but involves a duplication of the 
subject matter and deals not merely with the nature 
of virtues and vices, but with their degree as well. 
But the method to be followed in panegyric and in- 
vective will be dealt with in its proper place, as it 
forms the third department of rhetoric. 1 

As to commonplaces (I refer to those in which 22 
we denounce vices themselves such as adultery, 
gambling or profligacy without attacking parti- 
cular persons), they come straight from the courts 
and, if we add the name of the defendant, amount 
to actual accusations. As a rule, however, the 
general character of a commonplace is usually 
given a special turn : for instance we make our 
adulterer blind, our gambler poor and our profligate 
far advanced in years. Sometimes too they entail 



23 nonnunquam etiam defensionem. Nam et pro 
luxuria et pro amore dicimus, et leno interim para- 
situsque defenditur sic, ut non homini patrocinemur, 
sed crimini. 

24 Theses autem, quae sumuntur ex rerum compara- 
tione, ut rusticane vita an urbana potior, iurisperiti 
an militaris viri laus maior, mire sunt ad exercita- 
tionem dicendi speciosae atque uberes, quae vel ad 
suadendi officium vel etiam ad iudiciorum discepta- 
tionem iuvant plurimum. Nam posterior ex prae- 
dictis locus in causa Murenae copiosissime a Cicerone 

25 tractatur. Sunt et illae paene totae ad delibera- 
tivum pertineiites genus, ducendane uxor, petendine 
sint magistratus. Namque et hae personis modo 
adiectis suasoriae erunt. 

26 Solebant praeceptores mei neque inutili et nobis 
etiam iucundo genere exercitationis praeparare nos 
coniecturalibus causis, cum quaerere atque exsequi 
iuberent, Cur armata apud Lacedaemonios Venus, et 
Quid ita crederetur Cupido puer atque volucer et sagittis 
ac face annatus, et similia, in quibus scrutabamur 
voluntatem, cuius in controversiis frequens quaestio 
est, quod genus chriae videri potest. 

27 Nam locos quidem, quales sunt de testibus, sem- 

1 Pro Mur. ix. 21 sqq. 

2 The reason according to Lactantius (Inst. Div. i. 20) was 
the bravery of the Spartan women in one of the Messenian 


BOOK II. iv. 22-27 

defence : for we may speak on behalf of luxury or 23 
love, while a pimp or a parasite may be defended in 
such a way that we appear as counsel not for the 
character itself, but to rebut some specific charge 
that is brought against him. 

Theses on the other hand are concerned with 24 
the comparison of things and involve questions such 
as " Which is preferable, town or country life ? ' 
or "Which deserves the greatest praise, the lawyer 
or the soldier? ' These provide the most attractive 
and copious practice in the art of speaking, and are 
most useful whether we have an eye to the duties 
of deliberative oratory or the arguments of the 
courts. For instance Cicero in his pro Murena ] deals 
very fully with the second of the two problems 
mentioned above. Other theses too belong entirely 25 
to the deliberative class of oratory, as for instance 
the questions as to <l Whether marriage is desir- 
able ' or " Whether a public career is a proper 
object of ambition." Put such discussions into 
the mouths of specific persons and they become 
deliberative declamations at once. 

My own teachers used to prepare us for conject- 26 
ural cases by a form of exercise which was at once 
useful and attractive : they made us discuss and 
develop questions such as " Why in Sparta is Venus 
represented as wearing armour?" 2 or "Why is Cupid 
believed to be a winged boy armed with arrows and 
a torch ? " and the like. In these exercises our aim 
was to discover the intention implied, a question 
which frequently occurs in controversial declamations. 
Such themes may perhaps be regarded as a kind ot 
chria or moral essay. 

That certain topics such as the question as to 27 



perne his credendum, et de argumentis, an habenda 
etiam parvis fides, adeo manifestum est ad forenses 
actiones pertinere, ut quidam neque ignobiles in 
officiis civilibus scriptos eos memoriaeque diligen- 
tissime mandates in prompl;u habuerint, ut quotiens 
esset occasio, extemporales eorum dictiones his velut 

28 emblematis exornarentur. Quo quidem (neque 
enim eius rei iudicium differre sustineo) summam 
videbantur mihi infirmitatem de se confiteri. Nam 
quid ii possint in causis, quarum varia et nova semper 
est facies, proprium invenire ? quomodo propositis ex 
parte adversa respondere, altercationibus velociter 
occurrere, testem rogare ? qui etiain in iis, quae 
sunt communia et in plurimis causis tractantur, vul- 
gatissimos sensus verbis nisi tanto ante praeparatis 

29 prosequi nequeant. Necesse vero iis, cum endem 
iudiciis pluribus dicunt^ aut fastidium moveant velut 
frigidi et repositi cibi, aut pudorem deprehensa 
totiens audientium memoria infelix supellex, quae 
sicut apud pauperes ambitiosos pluribus et diversis 

30 officiis conteratur : cum eo quidem quod vix ullus 
est tarn communis locus^ qui possit cohaerere cum 
causa nisi aliquo propriae quaestionis vinculo copu- 


BOOK II. iv. 27-30 

whether we should always believe a witness or 
whether we should rely on circumstantial evidence, 
are part and parcel of actual forensic pleading is so 
obvious that certain speakers, men too who have 
held civil office with no small distinction, have 
written out passages dealing with such themes, com- 
mitted them to memory and kept them ready for 
immediate use, with a view to employing them when 
occasion arose as a species of ornament to be inserted 
into their extempore speeches. This practice 28 
for I am not going to postpone expressing my judg- 
ment on it I used to regard a confession of ex- 
treme weakness. For how can such men find appro- 
priate arguments in the course of actual cases which 
continually present new and different features? 
How can they answer the points that their opponents 
may bring up ? how deal a rapid counterstroke in 
debate or cross-examine a witness ? if, even in those 
matters which are of common occurrence and crop 
up in the majority of cases, they cannot give expres- 
sion to the most familiar thoughts except in words 
prepared so far in advance. And when they produce 29 
the same passage in a number of different cases, they 
must come to loathe it like food that has grown cold 
or stale, and they can hardly avoid a feeling of shame 
at displaying this miserable piece of furniture to an 
audience whose memory must have detected it so 
many times already : like the furniture of the 
ostentatious poor, it is sure to shew signs of wear 
through being used for such a variety of different 
purposes. Also it must be remembered that there 30 
is hardly a single commonplace of such universal 
application that it will fit any actual case, unless 
some special link is provided to connect it with 


latus ; appareat alioqui non tarn insertum quam 

31 adplicitum, vel quod dissimilis est ceteris vel quod 
plerumque adsumi etiam parum apte solet, non quia 
desideratur sed quia paratus est : ut quidam sen- 
tentiarum gratia verbosissimos locos arcessunt, cum 

32 ex locis debeat nasci sententia. Ita sunt autem 
speciosa haec et utilia, si oriuntur ex causa ; ceterum 
quamlibet pulchra elocutio, nisi ad victoriam tendit, 
utique supervacua, sed interim etiam contraria est. 
Verum hactenus evagari satis fuerit. 

33 Legum laus ac vituperatio iam maiores ac prope 
summis operibus suflfecturas vires desiderant ; quae 
quidem suasoriis an controversiis magis accommo- 
data sit exercitatio, consuetudine et iure civitatium 
differt. Apud Graecos enim lator earum ad iudicem 
vocabatur, Romanis pro contione suadere ac dissua- 
dere moris fuit. Utroque autem modo pauca de his 
et fere certa dicuntur. Nam et genera sunt tria, 

34 sacrr, publici, privati iuris. Quae divisio ad laudem 
magis spectat, si quis earn per gradus augeat, quod 
lex, quod publica, quod ad religionem deum com- 
parata sit. Ea quidem, de quibus quaeri solet, 

1 i.e. a court of nomothetae appointed by the Athenian 
assembly, who examined the provisions of the proposed law. 


BOOK II. iv, 30-34 

the subject : otherwise it will seem to have been 
tacked on to the speech, not interwoven in its 
texture, either because it is out of keeping with the 31 
circumstances orlike mostof its kind is inappropriately 
employed not because it is wanted, but because it is 
ready for use. Some speakers, for example, introduce 
the most long-winded commonplaces just for the sake 
of the sentiments they contain, whereas rightly the 
sentiments should spring from the context. Such 32 
disquisitions are at once ornamental and useful, only if 
they arise from the nature of the case. But the most 
finished eloquence, unless it tend to the winning of 
the case, is to say the least superfluous and may even 
defeat its own purpose. However I must bring this 
digression to a close. 

The praise or denunciation of laws requires greater 33 
powers ; indeed they should almost be equal to the 
most serious tasks of rhetoric. The answer to the 
question as to whether this exercise is more nearly 
related to deliberative or controversial oratory 
depends on custom and law and consequently varies 
in different states. Among the Greeks the proposer 
of a law was called upon to set forth his case before 
a judge, 1 while in Rome it was the custom to urge 
the acceptance or rejection of a law before the public 
assembly. But in any case the arguments advanced 
in such cases are few in number and of a definite 
type. For there are only three kinds of law, sacred, 
public and private. This division is of rhetorical value 3J 
chiefly when a law is to be praised. For example the 
orator may advance from praise to praise by a series of 
gradations, praising an enactment first because it is 
law, secondly because it is public, and, finally, designed 
for the support of religion. As regards the questions 



35 communia omnibus. Aut enim de iure dubitari 
potest eius, qui rogat, ut de P. Clodi, qui non rite 
creatus tribunus arguebatur ; aut de ipsius roga- 
tionis, quod est varium, sive non trino forte nundino 
promulgata sive non idoneo die, sive contra inter- 
cessionem vel auspicia aliudve quid, quod legitimis 
obstet, dicitur lata esse vel ferri, sive alicui manen- 

36 tium legum repugnare. Sed haec ad illas primas 
exercitationes non pertinent ; nam sunt hae citra 
complexum personarum, temporum, causarum. Re- 
liqua eadem fere vero fictoque huiusmodi certamine 

37 tractantur. Nam vitium aut in verbis aut in rebus 
est. In verbis quaeritur, an satis significent, an sit 
in iis aliquid ambiguum ; in rebus, an lex sibi ipsa 
consentiat, an in praeteritum ferri debeat, an in 
singulos homines. Maxima vero commune est 

38 quaerere, an sit honesta, an utilis. Nee ignoro, 
plures fieri a plerisque partes ; sed nos iustum, pium, 
religiosum, ceteraque his similia honesto complec- 
timur. lusti tamen species non simpliciter excuti 
solent. Aut enim de re ipsa quaeritur, ut dignane 

1 Clodius was a patrician and got himself made a plebeian 
by adoption to enable him to hold the tribunate. The 
question of the legality of this procedure is discussed by 
Cicero in the de Domo, 13-17. 

2 Lit. within the space of three market-days, nundinum 
= 9 days, the second market-day being the ninth, and 

forming the last day of the first nundinum and the first of 


BOOK II. iv. 34-38 

which generally arise, they are common to all cases. 
Doubts may be raised as to whether the mover is 35 
legally in a position to propose a law, as happened in 
the case of Publius Clodius, whose appointment as 
tribune of the plebs was alleged to be unconstitu- 
tional. 1 Or the legality of the proposal itself may 
be impugned in various ways ; it may for instance be 
urged that the law was not promulgated within 
seventeen 2 days, or was proposed, or is being pro- 
posed on an improper day, or in defiance of the 
tribunicial veto or the auspices or any other legal 
obstacle, or again that it is contrary to some exist- 
ing law. But such points are not suitable to 36 
elementary rhetorical exercises, which are not con- 
cerned with persons, times or particular cases. 
Other subjects, whether the dispute be real or fic- 
titious, are generally treated on the following lines. 
The fault must lie either in the words or the 37 
matter. As regards the words, the question will 
be whether they are sufficiently clear or contain 
some ambiguity, and as regards the matter whether 
the law is consistent with itself or should be retro- 
spective or apply to special individuals. The. point 
however which is most commonly raised is the 
question whether the law is right or expedient. I 38 
am well aware that many rhetoricians introduce a 
number of sub-divisions in connexion with this latter 
enquiry. I however include under the term right 
all such qualities as justice, piety and religion. 
Justice is however usually discussed under various 
aspects. A question may be raised about the acts 
with which the law is concerned, as to whether they 

the second. Similarly the third market-day is the last day 
of the second nundinum and the first of the third. 



poena vel praemio sit, aut de modo praemii poenae- 
ve, qui tarn maior quam minor culpari potest. 

39 Utilitas quoque interim natura discernitur, interim 
tempore. Quaedam an obtineri possint, ambigi 
solet. Ne illud quidem ignorare oportet, leges 
aliquando totas, aliquando ex parte reprehendi solere, 
cum exemplum rei utriusque nobis claris orationibus 

40 praebeatur. Nee me fallit, eas quoque leges esse, 
quae non in perpetuum rogentur, sed de honoribus 
aut imperiis, qualis Manilia fuit, de qua Ciceronis 
oratio est. Sed de his nihil hoc loco praecipi potest ; 
constant enim propria rerum, de quibus agitur, 
non communi qualitate. 

41 His fere veteres facultatem dicendi exercuerunt 
assumpta tamen a dialecticis argumentandi ratione. 
Nam fictas ad imitationem fori consiliorumque 
materias apud Graecos dicere circa Demetrium 

42 Phalerea institutum fere constat. An ab ipso id 
genus exercitationis sit inventum, ut alio quoque 
libro sum confessus, parum comperi ; sed ne ii 
quidem, qui hoc fortissime adfirmant, ullo satis 
idoneo auctore nituntur. Latinos vero dicendi 
praeceptores extremis L. Crassi temporibus coepisse 

1 The lex Manilia proposed to give Pompey the command 
against Mithridates. 

8 Probably the lost treatise on "The causes of the 
decline of oratory " (De causis corruptae eloquentiae), 


BOOK II. iv. 38-42 

deserve punishment or reward or as to the degree of 
punishment or reward that should be assigned, since 
excess in either direction is open to criticism. Again 39 
expediency is sometimes determined by the nature 
of things, sometimes by the circumstances of the time. 
Another common subject of controversy is whether 
a law can be enforced, while one must not shut one's 
eyes to the fact that exception is sometimes taken 
to laws in their entirety, but sometimes only in 
part, examples of both forms of criticism being 
found in famous speeches. I am well aware, too, 40 
that there are laws which are not proposed with 
a view to perpetuity, but are concerned with tem- 
porary honours or commands, such as the lex Manilla l 
which is the subject of one of Cicero's speeches. 
This however is not the place for instructions on 
this topic, since they depend on the special circum- 
stances of the matters under discussion, not on their 
general characteristics. 

Such were the subjects on which the ancients as 41 
a rule exercised their powers of speaking, though 
they called in the assistance of the logicians as well 
to teach them the theory of argument. For it is 
generally agreed that the declamation of fictitious 
themes in imitation of the questions that arise in 
the lawcourts or deliberative assemblies came into 
vogue among the Greeks about the time of De- 
metrius of Phalerum. Whether this type of exer- 42 
cise was actually invented by him I have failed to 
discover, as I have acknowledged in another work. 2 
But not even those who most strongly assert his 
claim to be the inventor, can produce any adequate 
authority in support of their opinion. As regards 
Latin teachers of rhetoric, of whom Plotius was the 



Cicero auctor est ; quorum insignis maxime Plotius 

V. Sed de ratione declamandi post paulum. 
Interim, quia prima rhetorices rudimenta tractamus, 
non omittendum videtur id quoque, ut moneam, 
quantum sit collaturus ad profectum discentium 
rhetor, si, quemadmodum a grammaticis exigitur 
poetarum enarratio, ita ipse quoque historiae atque 
etiam magis orationum lectione susceptos a se dis- 
cipulos instruxerit ; quod nos in paucis, quorum id 
aetas exigebat et parentes utile esse crediderant, 

2 servavimus. Ceterum sentientibus iam turn optima 
duae res impedimento fuerunt, quod et longa con- 
suetudo aliter docendi fecerat legem, et robusti fere 
iuvenes nee hunc laborem desiderantes exemplum 

3 nostrum sequebantur. Nee tamen, etiamsi quid 
novi vel sero invenissem, praecipere in posterum 
puderet. Nunc vero scio id fieri apud Graecos sed 
magis per adiutores, quia non videntur tempora 
suffectura, si legentibus singulis praeire semper ipsi 

4 velint. Et hercule praelectio, quae in hoc adhibe- 
tur, ut facile atque distincte pueri scripta oculis 
sequantur, etiam ilia, quae vim cuiusque verbij si 
quod minus usitatum incidat, docet^ multum infra 

6 rhetoris officium existimanda est. At demonstrare 
virtutes vel, si quando ita incidat, vitia, id pro- 

1 See Cic. de Or. iii. 24, 93. 

BOOK II. iv. 42-v. 5 

most famous, Cicero 1 informs us that they came into 
existence towards the end of the age of Crassus. 

V. I will speak of the theory of declamation a 
little later. In the mean time, as we are discussing 
the elementary stages of a rhetorical education, I 
think I should not fail to point out how greatly the 
rhetorician will contribute to his pupils' progress, if 
he imitates the teacher of literature whose duty it is 
to expound the poets, and gives the pupils whom he 
has undertaken to train, instruction in the reading 
of history and still more of the orators. I myself 
have adopted this practice for the benefit of a few 
pupils of suitable age whose parents thought it 
would be useful. But though my intentions were 2 
excellent, I found that there were two serious ob- 
stacles to success : long custom had established a 
different method of teaching, and my pupils were 
for the most part full-grown youths who did not 
require this form of teaching, but were taking my 
work as their model. However, the fact that I 3 
have been somewhat late in making the discovery is 
not a reason why I should be ashamed to recommend 
it to those who come after me. I now know that this 
form of teaching is practised by the Greeks, but is 
generally entrusted to assistants, as the professors 
themselves consider that they have no time to give 
individual instruction to each pupil as he reads. 
And I admit that the form of lecture which this 4 
requires, designed as it is to make boys follow the 
written word with ease and accuracy, and even that 
which aims at teaching the meaning of any rare 
words that may occur, are to be regarded as quite 
below the dignity of the teacher of rhetoric. On 5 
the other hand it is emphatically part of his pro- 



fessionis eius atque promissi, quo se magistrum 
eloquentiae pollicetur, maxime proprium est, eo 
quidem validius, quod non utique hunc laborem 
docentium postulo, ut ad gremium revocatis cuius 

6 quisque eorum velit libri lectione deserviant. Nam 
mihi cum facilius turn etiam multo videtur magis 
utile, facto silentio unum aliquem (quod ipsum im- 
perari per vices optimum est) constituere lectorem, 
ut protinus pronuntiationi quoque assuescant ; turn 

7 exposita causa, in quam scripta legetur oratio, (nam 
sic clarius quae dicentur intelligi poterunt) nihil 
otiosum pati, quodque in inventione quodque in 
elocutione adnotandum erit, quae in prooemio 
conciliandi iudicis ratio, quae narrandi lux, brevi- 
tas, fides, quod aliquando consilium et quam occulta 

8 calliditas (namque ea sola in hoc ars est, quae in- 
telligi nisi ab artifice non possit) ; quanta deinceps 
in dividendo prudentia, quam subtilis et crebra 
argumentatio, quibus viribus inspiret, qua iucundi- 
tate permulceat, quanta in maledictis asperitas, in 
iocis urbanitas, ut denique dominetur in adfectibus 


BOOK II. v. 5-8 

fession and the undertaking which he makes in 
offering himself as a teacher of eloquence, to point 
out the merits of authors or, for that matter, any 
faults that may occur : and this is all the more the 
case, as I am not asking teachers to undertake the 
task of recalling their pupils to standat their knee once 
more and of assisting them in the reading of what- 
ever book they may select. It seems to me at once 6 
an easier and more profitable method to call for 
silence and choose some one pupil and it will be 
best to select them by turns to read aloud, in 
order that they may at the same time learn the 
correct method of elocution. The case with which 7 
the speech selected for reading is concerned should 
then be explained, for if this be done they will 
have a clearer understanding of what is to be read. 
When the reading is commenced, no important 
point should be allowed to pass unnoticed either 
as regards the resourcefulness or the style shown 
in the treatment of the subject : the teacher must 
point out how the orator seeks to win the favour 
of the judge in his exordium, what clearness, brevity 
and sincerity, and at times what shrewd design and 
well-concealed artifice is shown in the statement of 
facts. For the only true art in pleading is that 8 
which can only be understood by one who is a 
master of the art himself. The teacher will proceed 
further to demonstrate what skill is shown in the divi- 
sion into heads, how subtle and frequent are the thrusts 
of argument, what vigour marks the stirring and 
what charm the soothing passage, how fierce is the 
invective and how full of wit the jests, and in 
conclusion how the orator establishes his sway 
over the emotions of his audience, forces his way 



atque in pectora irrumpat animumque iudicum 
9 similem iis, quae dicit, efficiat. Turn in ratione 
eloquendi, quod verbum proprium, ornatum, sublime ; 
ubi amplificatio laudanda, quae virtus ei contraria, 
quid speciose translatum, quae figura verborum, 
quae levis et quadrata sed virilis tamen compositio. 

10 Ne id quidem inutile, etiam corruptas aliquando 
et vitiosas orationes, quas tamen plerique iudiciorum 
pravitate mirantur, legi palam ostendique in his, 
quam multa impropria, obscura, tumida, humilia, 
sordida, lasciva, efFeminata sint ; quae non laudantur 
modo a plerisque, sed, quod est perns, propter hoc 

11 ipsum, quod sunt prava, laudantur. Nam sermo 
rectus et secundum naturam enuntiatus nihil habere 
ex ingenio videtur ; ilia vero, quae utcunque deflexa 
sunt, tanquam exquisitiora miramur ; non aliter 
quam distortis et quocunque modo prodigiosis cor- 
poribus apud quosdam maius est pretium quam iis, 
quae nihil ex communi habitu boni perdiderunt. 

12 Atque etiam qui specie capiuntur, vulsis levatisque 
et inustas comas acu comentibus et non suo colore 
nitidis plus esse formae putant, quam possit tribuere 
incorrupta natura, ut pulchritude corporis venire 
videatur ex malis morum. 

13 Neque solum haec ipse debebit docere praeceptor 


BOOK II. v. 8-13 

into their very hearts and brings the feelings of the 
jury into perfect sympathy with all his words. 
Finally as regards the style, he will emphasise the 9 
appropriateness,, elegance or sublimity of particular 
words, will indicate w r here the amplification of the 
theme is deserving of praise and where there is 
virtue in a diminuendo; and will call attention to 
brilliant metaphors, figures of speech and passages 
combining smoothness and polish with a general 
impression of manly vigour. 

It will even at times be of value to read speeches 10 
which are corrupt and faulty in style, but still meet 
with general admiration thanks to the perversity of 
modern tastes, and to point out how many expres- 
sions in them are inappropriate, obscure, high-flown, 
grovelling, mean, extravagant or effeminate, although 
they are not merely praised by the majority of critics, 
but, worse still, praised just because they are bad. For 1 1 
we have come to regard direct and natural speech 
as incompatible with genius, while all that is in any 
way abnormal is admired as exquisite. Similarly we 
see that some people place a higher value on figures 
which are in any way monstrous or distorted than 
they do on those who have not lost any of the ad- 
vantages of the normal form of man. There are 12 
even some who are captivated by the shams of artifice 
and think that there is more beauty in those who 
pluck out superfluous hair or use depilatories, who 
dress their locks by scorching them with the curling 
iron and glow with a complexion that is not their 
own, than can ever be conferred by nature pure and 
simple, so that it really seems as if physical beauty 
depended entirely on moral hideousness. 

It will, however, be the duty of the rhetorician 13 



sed frequenter interrogare et iudicium discipulorum 
experiri. Sic audientibus securitas aberit nee quae 
dicentur superfluent aures, simulque ad id perdu- 
centur, quod ex hoc quaeritur, ut inveniant ipsi et 
intelligant. Nam quid aliud agimus docendo eos, 

14 quam ne semper docendi sint? Hoc diligentiae 
genus ausim dicere plus collaturum discentibus 
quam omnes omnium artes, quae iuvant sine dubio 
multum ; sed latiore quadam comprehensione per 
omnes quidem species rerum cotidie paene nascen- 

15 tium ire qui possunt ? Sicut de re militari, quan- 
quam sunt tradita quaedam praecepta communia, 
magis tamen proderit scire, qua ducum quisque 
ratione, in quali re, tempore,, loco sit sapienter usus 
aut contra. Nam in omnibus fere minus valent 

16 praecepta quam experimenta. An vero declamabit 
quidem praeceptor, ut sit exemplo suis auditoribus ; 
non plus contulerint lecti Cicero aut Demosthenes? 
Corrigetur palam, si quid in declamando discipulus 
erraverit ; non potentius erit emendare orationem, 
quin immo etiam iucundius? Alier : a enim vitia 

17 reprehendi quisque mavult quam sua. Nee deerant 
plura, quae dicerem ; sed neminem haec utilitas 


BOOK II. v. 13-17 

not merely to teach these things, but to ask frequent 
questions as well, and test the critical powers of his 
class. This will prevent his audience from becoming 
inattentive and will secure that his words do not fall 
on deaf ears. At the same time the class will be led 
to find out tilings for themselves and to use their 
intelligence, which is after all the chief aim of this 
method of training. For what else is our object in 
teaching, save that our pupils should not always 
require to be taught? I will venture to say that 14 
this particular form of exercise, if diligently pursued, 
will teach learners more than all the text-books of 
all the rhetoricians : these are no doubt of very 
considerable use, but being somewhat general in 
their scope, it is quite impossible for them to deal 
with all the special cases that are of almost daily 
occurrence. The art of war will provide a parallel : 15 
it is no doubt based on certain general principles, 
but it will none the less be far more useful to know 
the methods employed, whether wisely or the re- 
verse, by individual generals under varying circum- 
stances and conditions of time and place. For there 
are no subjects in which, as a rule, practice is not 
more valuable than precept. Is a teacher to declaim 16 
to provide a model for his audience, and will not 
more profit be derived from the reading of Cicero or 
Demosthenes ? Is a pupil to be publicly corrected 
if he makes a mistake in declaiming, and will it not 
be more useful, and more agreeable too, to correct 
some actual speech? For everyone has a preference 
for hearing the faults of others censured rather than 
his own. I might say more on the subject. But 17 
everv one can see the advantages of this method. 
Would that the reluctance to put it into practice 



fugit, atque utinam tarn non pigeat facere istud 
quam non displicebit. 

18 Quod si potuerit obtineri, non ita difficilis super- 
erit quaestio, qui legendi sint incipientibus. Nam 
quidam illos minores, quia facilior intellectus vide- 
batur, probaverunt ; alii floridius genus, ut ad alenda 
primarum aetatum ingenia magis aecommodatum. 

19 Ego optimos quidem et statim et semper sed tamen 
eorum candidissimum quemque et maxime exposi- 
tum velim, ut Livium a pueris magis quam Sallus- 
tium, etsi hie historiae maior est auctor, ad quern 

20 tamen intelligendurn iam profectu opus sit. Cicero, 
ut mihi quidem videtur, et iucundus incipientibus 
quoque et apertus est satis, nee prodesse tantum sed 
etiam amari potest, turn (quemadmodum Livius 
praecipit) ut quisque erit Ciceroni simillimus. 

21 Duo autem genera maxime cavenda pueris puto : 
unum, ne quis eos antiquitatis nimius admirator in 
Gracchorum Catonisque et aliorum similium lectione 
durescere velit ; fient enim horridi atque ieiuni ; 
nam neque vim eorum adhuc intellectu consequentur 
et elocutione, quae turn sine dubio erat optima, sed 
nostris temporibus aliena est, contenti, quod est 


BOOK II. v. 17-21 

were not as great as the pleasure that would un- 
doubtedly be derived from so doing ! 

This method once adopted, we are faced by the 18 
comparatively easy question as to what authors 
should be selected for our reading. Some have re- 
commended authors of inferior merit on the ground 
that they were easier to understand. Others on the 
contrary would select the more florid school of writers 
on the ground that they are likely to provide the 
nourishment best suited to the minds of the young. 
For my part I would have them read the best authors 19 
from the very beginning and never leave them, 
choosing those, however, who are simplest and most 
intelligible. For instance, when prescribing for boys, 
I should give Livy the preference over Sallust ; 
for, although the latter is the greater historian, 
one requires to be well-advanced in one's studies 
to appreciate him properly. Cicero, in my opinion, 20 
provides pleasant reading for beginners and is suffi- 
ciently easy to understand : it is possible not only 
to learn much from him, but to come to love him. 
After Cicero I should, following the advice of Livy, 
place such authors as most nearly resemble him. 

There are two faults of taste against which boys 21 
should be guarded with the utmost care. Firstly 
no teacher suffering from an excessive admiration 
of antiquity, should be allowed to cramp their 
minds by the study of Cato and the Gracchi and 
other similar authors. For such reading will give 
them a harsh and bloodless style, since they will as 
yet be unable to understand the force and vigour of 
these authors, and contenting themselves with a 
style which doubtless was admirable in its day, but 
is quite unsuitable to ours, will come to think (and 



pessimum, similes sibi magnis viris videbuntur 

22 Alterum, quod huic diversum est, ne recentis huius 
lasciviae flosculis capti voluptate prava deleniantur, 
ut praedulce illud genus et puerilibus ingeniis hoc 

23 gratius, quo propius est, adament. Firmis autem 
iudiciis iamque extra periculum positis suaserim et 
antiques legere, ex quibus si assumatur solida ac 
virilis ingenii vis, deterso rudis saeculi squalore, turn 
noster hie cultus clarius enitescet, et novos, quibus 

24 et ipsis multa virtus adest. Neque enim nos tardi- 
tatis natura damnavit, sed dicendi mutavimus genus 
et ultra nobis quam oportebat indulsimus ; ita non 
tarn ingenio illi nos superarunt quam proposito. 
Multa ergo licebit eligere ; sed curandum erit, ne 

25 iis, quibus permixta sunt, inquinentur. Quosdam 
vero etiam, quos totos imitari oporteat, et fuisse 
nuper et nunc esse, quidni libenter non modo con- 

26 cesserim, verum etiam contenderim ? Sed hi qui 
sint, non cuiuscunque est pronuntiare. Tutius circa 
priores vel erratur, ideoque hanc novorum distuli 
lectionem, ne imitatio iudicium antecederet. 


BOOK II. v. 21-26 

nothing could be more fatal) that they really resem- 
ble great men. Secondly the opposite extreme must 22 
be equally avoided : they must not be permitted to 
fall victims to the pernicious allurements of the 
precious blooms produced by our modern euphuists, 
thus acquiring a passion for the luscious sweetness 
of such authors, whose charm is all the more attrac- 
tive to boyish intellects because it is so easy of 
achievement. Once, however, the judgment is 23 
formed and out of danger of perversion,, I should 
strongly recommend the reading of ancient authors, 
since if, after clearing away all the uncouthness of 
those rude ages, we succeed in absorbing the robust 
vigour and virility of their native genius, our more 
finished style will shine with an added grace : 
I also approve the study of the moderns at 
this stage, since even they have many merits. 
For nature has not doomed us to be dullards, 24 
but we have altered our style of oratory and in- 
dulged our caprices over much. It is in their ideals 
rather than their talents that the ancients show 
themselves our superiors. It will therefore be 
possible to select much that is valuable from modern 
writers, but we must take care that the precious 
metal is not debased by the dross with which it is 
so closely intermingled. Further I would not 25 
merely gladly admit, but would even contend that 
we have recently had and still have certain authors 
who deserve imitation in their entirety. But it is 26 
not for everyone to decide who these writers are. 
Error in the choice of earlier authors is attended 
with less danger, and I have therefore postponed 
the study of the moderns, for fear that we should 
imitate them before we are qualified to judge of 
their merits. - ,_ 


VI. Fuit etiam in hoc diversum praecipientiuin 
propositum, quod eorum quidam materias, quas dis- 
cipulis ad diceiidum dabant, non content! divisione 
dirigere latius dicendo prosequebantur, nee solum 

2 probationibus implebant sed etiam adfectibus. Alii, 
cum primas modo lineas duxissent, post declama- 
tiones, quid omisisset quisque, tractabant ; quosdam 
vero locos non minore cura, quam cum ad dicendum 
ipsi surgerent, excolebant. Utile utrumque, et ideo 
neutrum ab altero separo ; sed si facere tantum 
alterum necesse sit, plus proderit demonstrasse 
rectam protinus viam quam revocare ab errore iam 

3 lapses : primum quia emendationem auribus modo 
accipiunt, divisionem vero ad cogitationem etiam et 
stilum perferunt ; deinde quod libentius praecipi- 
entem audiunt quam reprehendentem. Si qui vero 
paulo sunt vivaciores, in his praesertim moribus, 
etiam irascuntur admonitioni et taciti repugnant. 

4 Neque ideo tamen minus vitia aperte coarguenda 
sunt. Habenda enim ratio ceterorum, qui recta 
esse, quae praeceptor non emendaverit, credent. 
Utraque autem ratio miscenda est et ita tractanda, 

5 ut ipsae res postulabunt. Namque incipientibus 


BOOK II. vi. 1-5 

VI. I come now to another point in which the 
practice of teachers has differed. Some have not been 
content with giving directions as to the arrange- 
ment of the subjects set diem as themes for 
declamation, but have developed them at some 
length themselves, supplying not merely the proofs, 
but the lines upon which the emotional passages 
should proceed. Others have merely suggested a 2 
bare outline, and then when the declamations were 
over, have indicated the points missed by each 
speaker and worked up certain passages with no less 
care than they would have used, had they been going 
to stand up to speak themselves. Both practices 
have their advantages, and therefore I will not give 
either the pre-eminence. But if we must choose one 
of the two, it will be found more profitable to point 
out the right road at the outset, and not merely to 
recall the pupil from his error when he has already 
gone astray, since in the first place the correction 3 
is only received by the ear, whereas when he is 
given a sketch of the various heads of the declama- 
tion, he has to take them down and think about 
them : secondly instruction is always more readily 
received than reproof. Indeed those of our pupils 
who have a lively disposition are liable in the 
present condition of manners to lose their temper 
when admonished and to offer silent resistance. 
That, however, is no reason for refraining from 4 
the public correction of faults ; for we must take 
the rest of the class into account, who will believe 
that whatever has not been corrected by the master 
is right. The two methods should be employed 
conjointly and in such a way as circumstances may 
demand. Beginners must be given a subject 5 



danda erit velut praeformata materia secundum 
cuiusque vires ; at cum satis composuisse sese ad 
exemplum videbuntur, brevia quaedam demonstranda 
vestigia, quae persecuti iam suis viribus sine admini- 

6 culo progredi possint. Nonnunquam credi sibi ipsos 
oportebit, ne mala consuetudine semper alienum 
laborem sequendi nihil per se conari et quaerere 
sciant. Quodsi satis prudenter dicenda viderint, 
iam prope consummata fuerit praecipientis opera ; 
at si quid erraverint adhuc, erunt ad ducem redu- 

7 cendi. Cui rei simile quiddam facientes aves cer- 
nimus, quae teneris infirmisque fetibus cibos ore suo 
collates partiuntur ; at cum visi sunt adulti, paulum 
egredi nidis et circumvolare sedem illam praece- 
dentes ipsae decent, turn expertas vires libero caelo 
suaeque ipsorum fiduciae permittunt. 

VII. Illud ex consuetudine mutandum prorsus 
existimo in iis, de quibus nunc disserimus, aetatibus, 
ne omnia quae scripserint ediscant et certa, ut moris 
est, die dicant ; quod quidem maxime patres exigunt 
atque ita demum studere liberos sues, si quam fre- 

quentissime declamaverint, credunt, cum profectus 

BOOK II. vi. 5-vn. i 

sketched out ready for treatment and suitable to 
their respective powers. But when they show that 
they have formed themselves sufficiently closely on 
the models placed before them, it will be sufficient 
to give them a few brief hints for their guidance 
and to allow them to advance trusting in their own 
strength and without external support. Sometimes 
they should be left entirely to their own devices, 
that they may not be spoilt by the bad habit of 
always relying on another's efforts, and so prove in- 
capable of effort and originality. But as soon as 
they seem to have acquired a sound conception of 
what they ought to say, the teacher's work will be 
near completion : if they still make some mistakes, 
they must be brought back under his guidance. We 
may draw a lesson from the birds of the air, whom 
we see distributing the food which they have col- 
lected in their bills among their weak and helpless 
nestlings ; but as soon as they are fledged, we see 
them teaching their young to leave the nest and fly 
round about it, themselves leading the way ; finally, 
when they have proved their strength, they are given 
the freedom of the open sky and left to trust in 

VII. There is one practice at present in vogue 
for boys of the age under discussion, which ought 
in my opinion undoubtedly to be changed. They 
should not be forced to commit all their own com- 
positions to memory and to deliver them on an 
appointed day, as is at present the custom. This 
practice is especially popular with the boys' fathers, 
who think that their sons are not really studying 
unless they declaim on every possible occasion, 
although as a matter of fact progress depends 



2 praecipue diligentia constet. Nam ut scribere pueros 
plurimumque esse in hoc opere plane velim, sic edi- 
scere electos ex orationibus vel historiis aliove quo 
genere dignorum ea cura voluminum locos, multo 

3 magis suadeam. Xam et exercebitur acrius memoria 
aliena complectendo quam sua ; et qui erunt in 
difficiliore huius laboris genere versati, sine molestia 
quae ipsi composuerint iara familiaria animo suo 
adfigent, et adsuescent optimis semperque habebunt 
intra se, quod imitentur ; et iam non sentientes 
formam orationis illam, quam mente penitus acce- 

4 perint, expriment. Abundabunt autem copia ver- 
borum optimorum et compositione et figuris iam non 
quaesitis sed sponte et ex reposito velut thesauro se 
offerentibus. Accedit his et iucunda in sermone 
bene a quoque dictorum relatio et in causis utilis. 
Nam et plus auctoritatis adferunt ea, quae non prae- 
sentis gratia litis sunt comparata, et laudem saepe 

5 maiorem quam si nostra sint conciliant. Aliquando 
tamen permittendum quae ipsi scripserint dicere, ut 
laboris sui fructum etiam ex ilia quae maxime petitur 
laude plurium capiant. Yerum id quoque turn fieri 

BOOK II. vii. 1-5 

mainly on industry. For though I strongly ap- 2 
prove of boys writing compositions and would have 
them spend as much time as possible over such 
tasks, I had much rather that for the purpose of 
learning by heart passages should be selected from 
the orators or historians or any other works that 
may be deserving of such attention. For it is a 3 
better exercise for the memory to learn the words 
of others than it is to learn one's own, and those 
who have practised this far harder task will find 
no difficulty in committing to memory their own 
compositions with which they are already familiar. 
Further they will form an intimate acquaintance 
with the best writings, will carry their models 
with them and unconsciously reproduce the style 
of the speech which has been impressed upon the 
memory. They will have a plentiful and choice 4 
vocabulary and a command of artistic structure and 
a supply of figures which will not have to be 
hunted for, but will offer themselves spontane- 
ously from the treasure-house, if I may so call it, 
in which they are stored. In addition they will 
be in the agreeable position of being able to 
quote the happy sayings of the various authors, a 
power which they will find most useful in the 
courts. For phrases which have not been coined 
merely to suit the circumstances of the lawsuit of 
the moment carry greater weight and often win 
greater praise than if they were our own. I 5 
would however allow boys occasionally to declaim 
their own compositions that they may reap the re- 
ward of their labours in the applause of a large 
audience, that most coveted of all prizes. But this 
should not be permitted until they have produced 



oportebit, cum aliquid commodius elimaverint, ut eo 
velut praemio studii sui donentur ac se meruisse ut 
dicerent gaudeant. 

VIII. Virtus praeceptoris haberi solet nee imme- 
rito diligenter in iis, quos erudiendos susceperit, 
notare discrimina ingeniorum et, quo quemque natura 
maxime ferat, scire. Nam est in hoc incredibilis 
quaedam varietas nee pauciores animorum paene 

2 quam corporum formae. Quod intelligi etiam ex 
ipsis oratoribus potest, qui tantum inter se distant 
genere dicendi, ut nemo sit alteri similis, quamvis 
plurimi se ad eorum quos probabant imitationem 

3 composuerint. Utile deinde plerisque visum est ita 
quemque instituere, ut propria naturae bona doctrina 
foverent et in id potissimum ingenia, quo tenderent, 
adiuvarentur ; ut si quis palaestrae peritus, cum in 
aliquod plenum pueris gymnasium venerit, expertus 
eorum omni modo corpus animumque discernat, cui 

4 quisque certamini praeparandus sit, ita praecepto- 
rem eloquentiae, cum sagaciter fuerit intuitus, cuius 
ingenium presso limatoque genere dicendi, cuius 
acri, gravi, dulci, aspero, nitido, urbano maxime 
gaudeat, ita se commodaturum singulis, ut in eo, 

6 quo quisque eminet, provehatur ; quod et adiuta 
cura natura magis evalescat, et qui in diversa ducatur 
neque in iis, quibus minus aptus est, satis possit 
efficere et ea, in quae natus videtur, deserendo faciat 

6 infirmiora. Quod mihi (libera enim vel contra re- 


BOOK II. vn. 5-vin. 6 

something more finished than usual : they will thus 
be rewarded for their industry and rejoice in the 
thought that the privilege accorded them is the 
recompense of merit. 

VIII. It is generally and not unreasonably regarded 
as the sign of a good teacher that he should be able 
to differentiate between the abilities of his respective 
pupils and to know their natural bent. The gifts of 
nature are infinite in their variety, and mind differs 
from mind almost as much as body from body. This 2 
is clear from a consideration of the orators them- 
selves, who differ in style to such an extent that no 
one is like another, in spite of the fact that numbers 
have modelled their style on that of their favorite 
authors. Many again think it useful to direct their 3 
instruction to the fostering of natural advantages and 
to guide the talents of their pupils along the lines 
which they instinctively tend to follow. Just as an 
expert gymnast, when he enters a gymnasium full of 
boys, after testing body and mind in every way, is 
able to decide for what class of athletic contest they 
should be trained, even so, they say, a teacher of 4 
oratory after careful observation of a boy's stylistic 
preferences, be they for terseness and polish, energy, 
dignity, charm, roughness, brilliance or wit, will so 
adapt his instructions to individual needs that each 
pupil will be pushed forward in the sphere for which 
his talents seem specially to design him ; for nature, 5 
when cultivated, goes from strength to strength, 
while he who runs counter to her bent is ineffective 
in those branches of the art for which he is less 
suited and weakens the talents which he seemed 
born to employ. Now, since the critic who is 6 
guided by his reason is free to dissent even from 



ceptas persuasiones rationem sequent! sententia est) 
in parte verum videtur. Nam proprietates ingenio- 

7 rum dispicere prorsus necessarium est. In his quoque 
certum studiorum facere delectum nemo dissuaserit. 
Namque erit alius liistoriae magis idoneus, alius com- 
positus ad carmen, alius utilis studio iuris, ut nonnulli 
rus fortasse mittendi. Sic discernet haec dicendi 
magister, quomodo palaestricus ille cursorem faciet 
aut pugilem aut luctatorem aliudve quid ex iis, quae 

8 sunt sacrorum certaminum. Verum ei, qui foro 
destinabitur, non in unam partem aliquam sed in 
omnia, quae sunt eius opens, etiam si qua difficiliora 
discenti videbuntur, elaborandum est. Nam et 
omnino supervacua erat doctrina, si natura suffi- 

9 ceret. An si quis ingenio corruptus ac tumidus, ut 
plerique sunt, incident, in hoc eum ire patiemur? 
aridum atque ieiunum non alemus et quasi ves- 
tiemus? Nam si quaedam detrahere necessarium 

10 est, cur non sit adiicere concessum ? Neque ego 
contra naturam pugno. Non enim deserendum id 
bonum, si quod ingenitum est, existimo, sed augen- 

11 dum addendumque quod cessat. An vero clarissi- 
mus ille praeceptor Isocrates, quern non magis libri 
bene dixisse quam discipuli bene docuisse testantur, 


BOOK II. viii. 6-1 1 

received opinions, I must insist that to my think- 
ing this view is only partially true. It is un- 
doubtedly necessary to note the individual gifts of 
each boy, and no one would ever convince me 7 
that it is not desirable to differentiate courses of 
study with this in view. One boy will be better 
adapted for the study of history, another for poetry, 
another for law, while some perhaps had better be 
packed off to the country. The teacher of rhetoric 
will distinguish such special aptitudes, just as our 
gymnast will turn one pupil into a runner, another 
into a boxer or wrestler or an expert at some other 
of the athletic accomplishments for which prizes are 
awarded at the sacred games. But on the other 8 
hand, he who is destined for the bar must study not 
one department merely, but must perfect himself in 
all the accomplishments which his profession de- 
mands, even though some of them may seem too hard 
for him when he approaches them as a learner. For if 
natural talent alone were sufficient, education might 
be dispensed with. Suppose we are given a pupil 9 
who, like so many, is of depraved tastes and swollen 
with his own conceit ; shall we suffer him to go his 
own sweet way ? If a boy's disposition is naturally 
dry and jejune, ought we not to feed it up or at any 
rate clothe it in fairer apparel ? For, if in some cases 
it is necessary to remove certain qualities, surely 
there are others where we may be permitted to add 
what is lacking. Not that I would set myself against 10 
the will of nature. No innate good quality should be 
neglected, but defects must be made good and weak- 
nesses made strong. When Isocrates, the prince of 11 
instructors, whose works proclaim his eloquence no 
less than his pupils testify to his excellence as a 



cum de Ephoro atque Theopompo sic iudicaret, ut 
alteri frenis alter! calcaribus opus esse diceret, aut 
in illo lentiore tarditatem aut in illo paene praecipiti 
concitationem adiuvandam docendo existimavit, cum 
alterum alterius natura misccndum arbitraretur ? 

12 Imbecillis tamen ingeniis sane sic obsequendum 
sit, ut tantum in id, quo vocat natura, ducantur ; ita 
enim, quod solum possunt, melius efficient. Si vero 
liberalior materia contigerit et in qua merito ad 
spem oratoris simus aggressi, nulla dicendi virtus 

13 omittenda est. Nam licet sit aliquam in partem 
pronior, ut necesse est, ceteris tamen non repugna- 
bit, atque ea cura paria faciet iis, in quibus eminebat ; 
sicut ille (ne ab eodem exemplo recedamus) exer- 
cendi corpora peritus, non, si docendum pancratias- 
ten susceperit, pugno ferire vel calce tantum aut 
nexus modo atque in iis certos aliquos docebit, sed 
omnia quae sunt eius certaminis. Erit qui ex his 
aliqua non possit : in id maxime quod poterit in- 

14 cumbet. Nam sunt haec duo vitanda prorsus : 
unum ne temptes quod effici non possit, alterum ne 
ab eo, quod quis optime facit, in aliud, ad quod 
minus est idoneus, transferas. At si fuerit qui 

1 The pancration was a mixture of wrestling and boxing. 

BOOK II. VIH. 11-14 

teacher, gave his opinion of Ephorus and Theopompus 
to the effect that the former needed the spur and the 
latter the curb, what was his meaning? Surely not 
that the sluggish temperament of the one and the 
headlong ardour of the other alike required modifi- 
cation by instruction, but rather that each would gain 
from an admixture of the qualities of the other. 

In the case of weaker understandings however some 12 


concession must be made and thev should be directed 


merely to follow the call of their nature, since thus 
they will be more effective in doing the only thing 
that lies in their power. But if we are fortunate 
enough to meet with richer material, such as justifies 
us in the hope of producing a real orator, we must 
leave no oratorical virtue uncared for. For though he 13 
will necessarily have a natural bent for some special 
department of oratory, he will not feel repelled by 
the others, and by sheer application will develop his 
other qualities until they equal those in which he 
naturally excels. The skilled gymnast will once again 
provide us with a parallel : if he undertakes to train 
a pancratiast, 1 he will not merely teach him how 
to use his fists or his heels, nor will he restrict 
his instructions to the holds in wrestling, giving 
special attention to certain tricks of this kind, 
but will train him in every department of the 
science. Some will no doubt be incapable of at- 
taining proficiency in certain exercises ; these must 
specialise on those which lie within their powers. 
For there are two things which he must be most 14 
careful to avoid : first, he must not attempt the im- 
possible, secondly he must not switch off his pupil 
from what he can do well to exercises for which he is 
less well suited. But if his pupil is like the famous 



docebitur ille, quern adolescentes senem vidimus, 
Nicostratus, omnibus in eo docendi partibus similiter 
utetur, efficietque ilium, qualis hie fuit, luctando 
pugnandoque, quorum utroque ccrtamine iisdem 
15 diebus coronabatur, invictum. Et quanto id magis 
oratoris futuri magistro providendum erit? Non 
enim satis est dicere presse tantum aut subtiliter aut 
aspere, non magis quam phonasco acutis tantum aut 
mediis aut gravibus soriis aut horum etiam particulis 
excellere. Nam sicut cithara ita oratio perfecta non 
est, nisi ab imo ad summum omnibus intenta nervis 

IX. Plura de officio docentium locutus discipulos 
id unum interim moneo, ut praeceptores suos non 
minus quam ipsa studia ament, et parcntes esse non 

2 quidem corporum sed mentium credant. Multum 
haec pietas conferet studio ; nam ita et libenter 
audient et dictis credent et esse similes concupiscent, 
in ipsos denique coetus scholarum laeti alacresque 
convenient, emendati non irascentur, laudati gaude- 

3 bunt, ut sint carissimi, studio merebuntur. Nam ut 
illorum officium est docere, sic horum praebere se 
dociles ; alioqui neutrum sine altero sufficit. Et 
sicut hominis ortus ex utroque gignentium con- 
fertur, et frustra sparseris semina, nisi ilia prae- 
mollitus foverit sulcus : ita eloquentia coalescere 


BOOK II. vin. i4-ix. 3 

Nicostratus, whom we saw when he was old and we 
were boys, he will train him equally in every depart- 
ment of the science and will make him a champion 
both in boxing and wrestling,, like Nicostratus himself 
who won the prize for both contests within a few days 
of each other. And how much more important is the 13 
employment of such methods where our future orator 
is concerned ! It is not enough to be able to speak 
with terseness, subtlety or vehemence, any more than 
it would be for a singing master to excel in the upper, 
middle or lower register only, or in particular sections 
of these registers alone. Eloquence is like a harp 
and will never reach perfection, unless all its strings 
be taut and in tune. 

IX. Though I have spoken in some detail of the 
duties of the teacher, I shall for the moment confine 
my advice to the learners to one solitary admonition, 
that they should love their masters not less than 
their studies, and should regard them as the parents 
not indeed of their bodies but of their minds. Such 2 
attachments are of invaluable assistance to study. 
For under their influence they find it a pleasure to 
listen to Iheir teachers, believe what they say and 
Ions; to be like them, come cheerfully and gladly to 

e ^ . . 

school, are not angry when corrected, rejoice when 
praised, and seek to win their master's affection by 
the devotion with which they pursue their studies. 
For as it is the duty of the master to teach, so it is 3 
the duty of the pupil to show himself teachable. The 
two obligations are mutually indispensable. And just 
as it takes two parents to produce a human being, 
and as the seed is scattered in vain, if the ground is 
hard and there is no furrow to receive it and bring it 
to growth, even so eloquence can never come to 



nequit nisi sociata tradentis accipientisque con- 

X. In his primis operibus, quae non ipsa parva 
sunt sed maiorum quasi membra atque partes, bene 
institute atque exercitato iam fere tempus appetet 
aggrediendi suasorias iudicialesque materias ; quarum 
antequam viam ingredior, pauca mihi de ipsa ratione 
declamandi dicenda sunt, quae quidern ut ex omni- 

2 bus novissime inventa ita multo est utilissima. Nam 
et cuncta ilia, de quibus diximus, in se fere continet, 
et veritati proximam imaginem reddit, ideoque ita 
est celebrata, ut plerisque videretur ad formandam 
eloquentiam vel sola sufficere. Neque enim virtus 
ulla perpetuae duntaxat orationis reperiri potest, 
quae non sit cum hac dicendi meditatione communis. 

3 Eo quidem res ista culpa docentium reccidit, ut inter 
praecipuas quae corrumperent eloquentiam causas 
licentia atque inscitia declainantium fuerit. Sed eo, 

4 quod natura bonum est, bene uti licet. Sint ergo 
et ipsae materiae, quae fingentur, quam simillimae 
veritatis, et declamatio, in quantum maxime potest, 
imitetur eas actiones, in quarum exercitationem 

6 reperta est. Nam magos et pestilentiam et responsa 
et saeviores tragicis novercas aliaque magis adhuc 
fabulosa frustra inter sponsiones et interdicta quae- 

1 sponsio (= a wager) was a form of lawsuit in which the 
litigant promised to pay a certain sum of money if he lost 
his case. The interdict was an order issued by the praetor 


BOOK II. ix. 3-x. 5 

maturity, unless teacher and taught are in perfect 

X. These elementary stages aio in themselves 
no small undertaking, but they are merely members 
and portions of the greater whole ; when therefore 
the pupil has been thoroughly instructed and exer- 
cised in these departments, the time will as a rule 
have come for him to attempt deliberative and 
forensic themes. But before I begin to discuss 
these,, I must say a few words on the theory of 
declamation, which is at once the most recent and 
most useful of rhetorical exercises. For it includes 2 
practically all the exercises of which we have been 
speaking and is in close touch with reality. As a 
result it has acquired such a vogue that many think 
that it is the sole training necessary to the formation 
of an orator, since there is no excellence in a formal 
speech which is not also to be found in this type of 
rhetorical exercise. On the other hand the actual 3 
practice of declamation has degenerated to such an 
extent owing to the fault of our teachers, that it has 
come to be one of the chief causes of the corruption 
of modern oratory ; such is the extravagance and 
ignorance of our declaimers. But it is possible to 
make a sound use of anything that is naturally sound. 
The subjects chosen for themes should, therefore, be 4 
as true to life as possible, and the actual declamation 
should, as far as may be, be modelled on the plead- 
ings for which it was devised as a training. For we 5 
shall hunt in vain among sponsions 1 and interdicts 
for magicians and plagues and oracles and step- 
mothers more cruel than any in tragedy, and other 

commanding or prohibiting certain action. It occurred 
chiefly in disputes about property. 



remus. Quid ergo ? Nunquam haec supra fidem et 
poetica, ut vere dixerim, themata iuvenibus trad are 
permittamus, ut exspatientur et gaudeant materia et 

6 quasi in corpus eant ? Erit optimum ; sed certe sint 
grandia et tumida, non stulta etiam et acrioribus 
oculis intuenti ridicula : ut, si iam cedendum est, 
impleat se declamator aliquando, dum sciat, ut 
quadrupedes, cum viridi pabulo distentae sunt, san- 
guinis detractione curantur et sic ad cibos viribus 
conservandis idoneos redeunt, ita sibi quoque tenu- 
andas adipes, et quidquid humoris corrupti con- 
traxerit, emittendum, si esse sanus ac robustus volet. 

7 Alioqui tumor ille inanis primo cuiusque veri operis 
conatu dcprehendetur. Totum autem declamandi 
opus qui diversum omni modo a forensibus causis 
existimant, ii profecto ne rationem quidem, qua ista 

8 exercitatio inventa sit, pervident. Nam si foro non 
praeparat, aut scenicae ostentation! aut furiosae voci- 
ferationi simillimum est. Quid enim attinet iudicem 
praeparare, qui nullus est ; narrare, quod omnes 
sciant falsum ; probationes adhibere causae, de qua 
nemo sit pronuntiaturus ? Et haec quidem otiosa 
tantum ; adfici vero et ira vel luctu permovere, cuius 
est ludibrii, nisi quibusdam pugnae simulacris ad 

1 The themes of the controversiae often turned on the 
supernatural and on crimes and incidents such as rarely or 
never occur in actual life. 


BOOK II. x. 5-8 

subjects still more unreal than these. 1 What then? 
are we never to permit young men to handle unreal 
or, to be more accurate, poetic themes that they may 
run riot and exult in their strength and display their 
full stature? It were best to prohibit them absolutely. 6 
But at any rate the themes, however swelling and 
magnificent, should not be such as to seem foolish 

c3 * 

and laughable to the eye of an intelligent observer. 
Consequently, if we must make some concession, let 
us allow the declaimer to gorge himself occasion- 
ally, as long as he realises that his case will be like 
that of cattle that have blown themselves out with a 
surfeit of green food : they are cured of their disorder 
by blood-letting and then put back to food such as 
will maintain their strength; similarly the declaimer 
must be rid of his superfluous fat, and his corrupt 
humours must be discharged, if he wants to be 
strong and healthy. Otherwise, the first time he 7 

O J f 

makes any serious effort, his swollen emptiness will 
stand revealed. Those, however, who hold that 
declamation has absolutely nothing in common with 
pleading in the courts, are clearly quite unaware of 
the reasons which gave rise to this type of exercise. 
For if declamation is not a preparation for the actual 8 
work of the courts, it can only be compared to the 
rant of an actor or the raving of a lunatic. For what 
is the use of attempting to conciliate a non-existent 
judge, or of stating a case which all know to be 
false, or of trying to prove a point on which judg- 
ment will never be passed? Such waste of effort 
is, however, a comparative trifle. But what can be 
more ludicrous than to work oneself into a passion 
and to attempt to excite the anger or grief of 
our hearers, unless we are preparing ourselves by 



verum discrimen aciemque iustam consuescimus ? 
9 Nihil ergo inter forense genus dicendi atque hoc 
declamatorium intererit ? Si profectus gratia dici- 
mus, nihil. Utinamque adiici ad consuetudinem 
posset, ut nominibus uteremur, et perplexae mngis 
et longioris aliquando actus controversiae finge- 
rentur, et verba in usu cotidiano posita minus 
timeremus, et iocos inserere moris esset ; quae nos, 
quamlibet per alia in scholis exercitati simus, tirones 

10 in foro inveniunt. Si vero in ostentationem com- 
paretur declamatio, sane paulum aliquid inclinare 

11 ad voluptatem audientium debemus. Nam et in iis 
actionibus, quae in aliqua sine dubio veritate ver- 
santur, sed sunt ad popularem aptatae delectationem, 
quales legimus panegyricos, totumque hoc demon- 
strativum genus, permiltitur adhibere plus cultus 
omnemque artem, quae latere plerumque in iudiciis 
debet, non confiteri modo sed ostentare etiam homi- 

12 nibus in hoc advocatis. Quare declamatio, quoniain 
est iudiciorum consiliorumque imago, similis esse 
debet veritati ; quoniam autem aliquid in se habet 

13 eViSeiKTtKoY, nonnihil sibi nitoris assumere. Quod 
faciunt actores comici, qui neque ita prorsus, ut nos 
vulgo loquimur, pronuntiant, quod esset sine arte> 


BOOK II. x. 8-13 

such mimic combats for the actual strife and the 
pitched battles of the law-courts ? Is there then no 9 
difference between our declamations and genuine 
forensic oratory? I can only reply, that if we speak 
with a desire for improvement, there will be no 
difference. I wish indeed that certain additions 
could be made to the existing practice ; that we made 
use of names, that our fictitious debates dealt with 
more complicated cases and sometimes took longer 
to deliver, that we were less afraid of words drawn 
from everyday speech and that we were in the habit 
of seasoning our words with jests. For as regards 
all these points, we are mere novices when we come 
to actual pleading, however elaborate the training 
that the schools have given us on other points. And 10 
even if display is the object of declamation, surely 
we ought to unbend a little for the entertainment of 
our audience. For even in those speeches which, 11 
although undoubtedly to some extent concerned 
with the truth, are designed to charm the multi- 
tude (such for instance as panegyrics and the oratory 
of display in all its branches), it is permissible to 
be more ornate and not merely to disclose all the 
resources of our art, which in cases of law should as 
a rule be concealed, but actually to flaunt them 
before those who have been summoned to hear us. 
Declamation therefore should resemble the truth, 12 
since it is modelled on forensic and deliberative 
oratory. On the other hand it also involves an 
element of display, and should in consequence 
assume a certain air of elegance. In this connexion 1? 
I may cite the practice of comic actors, whose de- 
livery is not exactly that of common speech, since 
that would be inartistic, but is on the other hand not 



neque procul tainen a natura recedunt, quo vitio 
periret imitatio ; sed morem communis huius ser- 

14 monis decore quodam scenico exornant. Sic quoque 
aliqua nos incommoda ex iis, quas finxerimus, materiis 
consequentur, in eo praecipue, quod multa in iis 
relinquuntur incerta, quae sumimus utvidetur,aetates ; 
facilitates, liberi, parentes, urbium ipsarum vires, 

15 iura, mores, alia his similia ; quin aliquando etiam 
argumentuni ex ipsis positionum vitiis duciinus. Sed 
haec suo quaeque loco. Quamvis enim omne pro- 
positum operis a nobis destinati eo spectet, ut orator 
instituatur, tamen, ne quid studiosi requirant, etiam 
si quid erit, quod ad scholas proprie pertineat, in 
transitu non omittemus. 

XI. lam hinc ergo iiobis inchoanda est ea pars 
artis, ex qua capere initium solent, qui priora omise- 
runt ; quanquam video quosdam in ipso statim limine 
obstaturos mihi, qui nihil egere huiusmodi praeceptis 
eloqueritiam putent, sed natura sua et vulgari modo 
et scholarum exercitatione contend rideant etiam 
diligentiam nostram exemplo magni quoque nominis 
professorum, quorum aliquis, ut opinor, interrogatus, 
quid esset cr\T]/J.a. et vo^ua, nescire se quidem sed, si 


BOOK II. x. 13-xi. i 

far removed from the accents of nature, for,, if it were, 
their mimicry would be a failure: what they do there- 
fore is to exalt the simplicity of ordinary speech 
by a touch of stage decoration. So too we shall 14 
have to put up with certain inconveniences arising 
from the nature of our fictitious themes ; such draw- 
backs occur more especially in connexion with those 
numerous details which are left uncertain and which 
we presume to suit our purpose, such as the ages of 
our characters, their wealth, their families, or the 
strength, laws and manners of the cities where our 
scenes are laid, and the like. Sometimes we even lo 
draw arguments from the actual flaws of the assump- 
tions involved by the theme. But each of these 
points shall be dealt with in its proper place. For 
although the whole purpose of this work is the 
formation of an orator, I have no intention of passing 
over anything that has a genuine connexion with the 
practice of the schools, for fear that students may 
complain of the omission. 

XI. I have now arrived at the point when I must 
begin to deal with that portion of the art at which 
those who have omitted the preceding stages gener- 
ally commence. I can see, however, that certain 
critics will attempt to obstruct my path at the very 
outset: for they will urge that eloquence can dis- 
pense with rules of this kind and, in smug satis- 
faction with themselves and the ordinary methods 
and exercises of the schools, will laugh at me for 
my pains ; in which they will be only following the 
example of certain professors of no small reputation. 
One of these gentlemen, I believe, when asked to 
define a figure and a thought, replied that he did not 
know what they were, but that, if they had anything 



ad rem pertineret, esse in sua declamatione respon- 

2 dit. Alias percontanti, Theodoreus an Apollodoreus 
esset ? Ego, inquit, parmularius sum. Nee sane 
potuit urbanius ex confessione inscitiae suae elabi. 
Porro hi, quia et beneficio ingenii praestantes sunl 
habiti et multa etiam memoria digna exclamaverunt, 
plurimos habent similes negligentiae suae, paucis- 

3 simos naturae. Igitur impetu dicere se et viribus 
uti gloriantur ; neque enim opus esse probatione ant 
dispositione in rebus fictis, sed, cuius rei gratia 
plenum sit auditorium, sententiis grandibus, quarum 

4 optima quaeque a periculo petatur. Quin etiam in 
coffitando, nulla ratione adhibita aut tectum in- 

O y 

tuentes magnum aliquid, quod ultro se offerat, 
pluribus saepe diebus expectant, aut murmure in- 
certo velut classico instinct! concitatissimum cor- 
poris motum non enuntiandis sed quaerendis verbis 

5 accommodant. Nonnulli certa sib! initia, priusquam 
sensum invenerint, destinant, quibus aliquid diserti 
subiungendum sit, eaque diu secum ipsi clareque 
meditati desperata conectendi facultate deserunt et 

1 i.e. I care naught for your rival schools of rhetoric. I 
give all my favour to the men armed with the buckler (the 
gladiators known as Thraces). Such contests of the amphi- 
theatre interest me far more than the contests between rival 
schools of rhetoric. 


BOOK II. xi. 1-5 

to do with the subject, they would be found in 
his declamation. Another when asked whether he 2 
was a follower of Theodorusor Apollodorus, replied, 
"Oh! as for me, I am all for the Thracians." 1 
To do him justice, he could hardly have found a 
neater way to avoid confessing his ignorance. These 
persons, just because, thanks to their natural gifts, 
they are regarded as brilliant performers and have, 
as a matter of fact, uttered much that deserves to 
be remembered, think that, while most men share 
their careless habits, few come near them for talent. 
Consequently they make it their boast that they 3 
speak on impulse and owe their success to their 
native powers ; they further assert that there is no 
need of proof or careful marshalling of facts when 
we are speaking on fictitious themes, but only of 
some of those sounding epigrams, the expectation of 
which has filled the lecture-room ; and these they 
say are best improvised on the spur of the moment. 
Further, owing to their contempt for method, when 4 
they are meditating on some future effusion, they 
spend whole days looking at the ceiling in the hope 
that some magnificent inspiration may occur to 
them, or rock their bodies to and fro, booming 

* c5 

inarticulately as if they had a trumpet inside them 
and adapting their agitated movements, not to the 
delivery of the words, but to their pursuit. Some 5 
again settle on certain definite openings long be- 
fore they have thought what they are going to say, 
with a view to using them as pegs for subsequent 
snatches of eloquence, and then after practising 
their delivery first in silent thought and then 
aloud for hours together, in utter desperation of 
providing any connecting links, abandon them and 



ad alia deinceps atque inde alia non minus communia 

6 ac nota devertunt. Qui plurimum videntur habere 
rationis, non in causas tamen laborem suum sed in 
locos intendunt, atque in iis non corpori prospiciunt 
sed abrupta quaedam, ut forte ad manum venere, 

7 iaculantur. Unde fit, ut dissoluta et ex diversis 
congesta oratio cohaerere non possit similisque sit 
commentariis puerorum, in quos ea, quae aliis de- 
clamantibus laudata sunt, regerunt. Magnas tamen 
sententias et res bonas, ita enim gloriari solent, 
elidunt ; nam et barbari et servi ; et si hoc sat est, 
nulla est ratio dicendi. 

XII. Ne hoc quidem negaverim, sequi plerumque 
hanc opinionenx, ut fortius dicere videantur indocti ; 
primum vitio male iudicantium, qui maiorem habere 
vim credunt ea_, quae non habent artem, ut effringere 
quam aperire, rumpere quam solvere, trahere quam 
2 ducere putant robustius. Nam et gladiator, qui 
armorum inscius in rixam ruit, et luctator, qui totius 
corporis nisu in id, quod semel invasit, incumbit, 
fortior ab his vocatur ; cum interim et hie frequenter 
suis viribus ipse prosternitur, et ilium vehementis 

BOOK II. xi. 5-xn. 2 

take refuge in one formula after another, each no 
less hackneyed and familiar than the last. The 6 


least unreasonable of them devote their atten- 
tion not to the actual cases, but to their purple 
patches, in the composition of which they pay no 
attention to the subject-matter, but fire off a series 
of isolated thoughts just as they happen to come to 
hand. The result is a speech which, being com- 7 
posed of disconnected passages having nothing in 
common with each other, must necessarily lack 
cohesion and can only be compared to a schoolboy's 
notebook, in which he jots down any passages from 
the declamations of others that have come in for a 
word of praise. None the less they do occasionally 
strike out some good things and some fine epigrams, 
such as they make their boast. Why not ? slaves 
and barbarians sometimes achieve the same effects, 
and if we are to be satisfied with this sort of thing, 
then good-bye to any theory of oratory. 

XII. I must, however, admit that the general 
opinion is that the untrained speaker is usually 
the more vigorous. This opinion is due primarily 
to the erroneous judgment of faulty critics, who 
think that true vigour is all the greater for its lack 
of art, regarding it as a special proof of strength to 
force what might be opened, to break what might 
be untied and to drag what might be led. Even a 2 
gladiator who plunges into the fight with no skill at 
arms to help him, and a wrestler who puts forth the 
whole strength of his body the moment he has got 
a hold, is acclaimed by them for his outstanding 
vigour, although it is of frequent occurrence in such 
cases for the latter to be overthrown by his own 
strength and for the former to find the fury of his 



3 impetus excipit adversarii mollis articulus. Sed 
sunt in hac parte, quae imperitos etiam naturaliter 
fallant ; nam et divisio, cum plurimum valeat in 
causis, speciem virium minuit, et rudia politis maiora 

4 et sparsa compositis numerosiora creduntur. Est 
praeterea quaedam virtutum vitiorumque vicinia, 
qua maledicus pro libero, temerarius pro forti, effusus 
pro copioso accipitur. Maledicit autem ineruditus 
apertius et saepius vel cum periculo suscepti litiga- 

5 toris, frequenter etiam suo. Adfert et ista res 
opinionem, quia libentissime homines audiunt ea, 
quae dicere ipsi noluissent. Illud quoque alterum 
quod est in elocutione ipsa periculum minus vitat 
conaturque perdite, unde evenit nonnunquam, ut 
aliquid grande inveniat qui semper quaerit quod 
nimium est ; verum id et raro provenit, et cetera 
vitia non pensat. 

6 Propter hoc quoque interdum videntur indocti 
eopiam habere maiorem, quod dicunt omnia ; doctis 
est et electio et modus. His accedit, quod a cura 
docendi quod intenderunt recedunt. Itaque illud 
quaestionum et argumentorum apud corrupta iudicia 


BOOK II. xn. 2-6 

onslaught parried by his adversary with a supple 
turn of the wrist. But there are many details in this 3 
department of our art which the unskilled critic will 
never notice. For instance, careful division under 
heads, although of the utmost importance in actual 
cases, makes the outward show of strength seem 
less than the reality; the unhewn block is larger 
than the polished marble, and things when scattered 
seem more numerous than when placed together. 
There is moreover a sort of resemblance between 4 
certain merits and certain defects : abuse passes for 
freedom of speech, rashness for courage, prodigality 
for abundance. But the untrained advocate will 
abuse too openly and too often, even though by so 
doing he imperils the success of the case which he 
has undertaken and not seldom his own personal 
safety as well. But even such violence will win 5 
men's good opinion, since they are only too pleased 
to hear another say things which nothing would 
have induced them to utter themselves. Such 
speakers are also less careful to avoid that other 
peril, the pitfall of style, and are so reckless in their 
efforts that sometimes in their passion for extrava- 
gance they light upon some really striking expres- 
sion. But such success is rare and does not 
compensate for their other defects. 

For the same reason the uninstructed sometimes 6 
appear to have a richer flow of language, because 
they say everything that can be said, while the 
learned exercise discrimination and self-restraint. 
To this must be added the fact that such persons 
take no trouble to prove their contentions, and 
consequently steer clear of the chilly reception 
given in our decadent law-courts to arguments and 



frigus evitant nihilque aliud, quam quod vel pravis 
voluptatibus aures assistentium permulceat, quaerunt. 

7 Sententiae quoque ipsae, quas solas petunt, magis 
eminent, cum omnia circa illas sordida et abiecta 
sunt ; ut lumina non inter umbras, quemadmodum 
Cicero dicit, sed plane in tenebris clariora sunt. 
Itaque ingeniosi vocentur, ut libet, dum tamen con- 

8 stet contumeliose sic laudari disertum. Nihilominus 
confitendum est etiam detrahere doctrinam aliquid, 
ut limam rudibus et cotes hebetibus et vino vetus- 
tatem, sed vitia detrahit, atque eo solo minus est, 
quod Htterae perpolierunt, quo melius. 

9 Verum hi pronuntiatione quoque famam dicendi 
fortius quaerunt. Nam et clamant ubique et omnia 
levata, ut ipsi vocant, manu emugiunt, multo dis- 
cursu, anhelitu, iactatione gestus, motu capitis 

10 furentes. lam collidere manus, tcrrae pedem in- 
cutere, femur, pectus, frontem caedere, mire ad 
pullatum circulum facit ; cum ille eruditus, ut in 
oratione multa summittere, variare, disponere, ita 
etiam in pronuntiando suum cuique eorum, quae 

1 de Or. in. xxvi. 101. 

2 puHatiis = wearing dark clothes, i.e. the common people, 
as opposed to the upper classes wearing the white or purple- 
bordered toga. 


BOOK II. xii. 6-10 

questions and seek only for such themes as may 
beguile the ears of the public even at the cost of 
appealing to the most perverted tastes. Again, 7 
their epigrams,, the sole objects of their quest, seem 
all the more striking because of the dreariness and 
squalor of their context, since flashes are more 
clearly seen against a background, not of mere 
" shade," as Cicero 1 says, but of pitchy darkness. 
Well, let the world credit them with as much genius 
as it pleases, so long as it is admitted that such 
praise is an insult to any man of real eloquence. 
None the less it must be confessed that learning 8 
does take something from oratory, just as the file 
takes something from rough surfaces or the whet- 
stone from blunt edges or age from wine ; it takes 
away defects, and if the results produced after sub- 
jection to the polish of literary study are less, they 
are less only because they are better. 

But these creatures have another weapon in their 9 
armoury : they seek to obtain the reputation of 
speaking with greater vigour than the trained orator 
by means of their delivery. For they shout on all 
and every occasion and bellow their every utterance 
"with uplifted hand," to use their own phrase, 
dashing this way and that, panting, gesticulating 
wildly and wagging their heads with all the frenzy 
of a lunatic. Smite your hands together, stamp 10 
the ground, slap your thigh, your breast, your fore- 
head, and you will go straight to the heart of the 
dingier members of your audience. 2 But the edu- 
cated speaker, just as he knows how to moderate 
his style, and to impart variety and artistic form to 
his speech, is an equal adept in the matter of de- 
livery and will suit his action to the tone of each 



dicet, colori accommodare actum sciat, et, si quid sit 
perpetua observatione dignum, modestus et esse et 

11 videri malit. At illi hanc vim appellant, quae est 
potius violentia ; cum interim non actores modo 
aliquos invenias sed, quod est turpius, praeceptores 
etiam, qui brevem dicendi exercitationem consecuti 
omissa ratione ut tulit impetus, passim tumultuentur 
eosque, qui plus honoris litteris tribuerunt, ineptos 
et ieiunos et trepidos et infirmos, ut quodque verbum 

12 contumeliosissimum occurrit, appellent. Verum illis 
quidem gratulemur sine labore, sine ratione, sine 
disciplina disertis ; nos, quando et praecipiendi 
munus iam pridem deprecati sumus et in foro quo- 
que dicendi, quia honestissimum finem putabamus 
desinere dum desideraremur, inquirendo scribendo- 
que talia consolemur otium nostrum, quae futura 
usui bonae mentis iuvenibus arbitramur, nobis certe 
sunt voluptati. 

XIII. Nemo autem a me exigat id praeceptorum 
genus, quod est a plerisque scriptoribus artium tra- 
ditum, ut quasi quasdam leges immutabili necessitate 
constrictas studiosis dicendi feram : utique prooe- 
mium et id quale, proxima huic narratio, quae lex 
deinde narrandi, propositio post hanc vel, ut quibus- 
dam placuit, excursio, turn certus ordo quaestionum 
ceteraque, quae, velut si aliter facere fas non sit, 


BOOK II. xii. lo-xm. i 

portion of his utterances, while, if he has any one 
canon for universal observance,, it is that he should 
both possess the reality and present the appearance 
of self-control. But the ranters confer the title of 11 
force on that which is really violence. You may 
also occasionally find not merely pleaders, but, what 
is far more shameful, teachers as well, who, after a 
brief training in the art of speaking, throw method 
to the winds and, yielding to the impulse of the 
moment, run riot in every direction, abusing those 
who hold literature in higher respect as fools with- 
out life, courage or vigour, and calling them the 
first and worst name that occurs to them. Still let 12 
me congratulate these gentlemen on attaining elo- 
quence without industry, method or studv. As for 
myself I have long since retired from the task of 
teaching, in the schools and of speaking in the 
courts, thinking it the most honourable conclusion to 
retire while my services were still in request, and all 
I ask is to be allowed to console my leisure by 
making such researches and composing such instruc- 
tions as will, I hope, prove useful to young men of 
ability, and are, at any rate, a pleasure to myself. 
XIII. Let no one however demand from me a rigid 


code of rules such as most authors of textbooks have 
laid down, or ask me to impose on students of rhe- 
toric a system of laws immutable as fate, a system in 
which injunctions as to the exordium and its nature 
lead the way; then come the statement of facts and 
the laws to be observed in this connexion : next the 
proposition or, as some prefer, the digression, followed 
by prescriptions as to the order in which the various 
questions should be discussed, with all the other rules, 
which some speakers follow as though they had no 



2 quidam tanquam iussi sequuntur. Erat enim rhe- 
torice res prorsus facilis ac parva, si uno et brevi 
praescripto contineretur ; sed mutantur pleraque 
causis, temporibus, occasione, necessitate. Atque 
ideo res in oratore praecipua consilium est, quia 

3 varie et ad reruin momenta convertitur. Quid si 
enim praecipias imperatori, quotiens aciem instruat, 
derigat frontem, cornua utrinque promoveat, equites 
pro cornibus locet? erit haec quidem rectissima 
fortasse ratio, quotiens licebit ; sed mutabitur natura 
loci, si mons occurret, si flumen obstabit, collibus, 

4 silvis, asperitate alia prohibebitur ; mutabit hostium 
genus, mutabit praesentis condicio discriminis ; nunc 
acie directa nunc cuneis, nunc auxiliis nunc legione 
pugnabitur, nonnunquam terga etiam dedisse simu- 

5 lata fuga proderit. Ita prooemium necessarium an 
supervacuum, breve an longius, ad iudicem omni 
sermone derecto an aliquando averse per aliquam 
figuram dicendum sit, constricta an latius fusa nar- 
ratio, continua an divisa, recta an ordine permutato, 
causae docebunt. Itemque de quaestionum ordine, 

1 i.e. by the figure known as apostrophe, in which the 
orator diverts his speech from the judge to some other 
person : see ix. ii. 38. 


BOOK II. xin. 1-5 

choice but to regard them as orders and as if it were 
a crime to take any other line. If the whole of rhe- 2 
toric could be thus embodied in one compact code, 
it would be an easy task of little compass : but 
most rules are liable to be altered by the nature of 
the case, circumstances of time and place, and by 
hard necessity itself. Consequently the all-important 
gift for an orator is a wise adaptability since he is 
called upon to meet the most varied emergencies. 
What if you should instruct a general, as often as he 3 
marshals his troops for battle, to draw up his front in 
line, advance his wings to left and right, and station 
his cavalry to protect his flank? This will perhaps be 
the best plan, if circumstances allow. But it may 
have to be modified owing to the nature of the ground, 
if, for instance, he is confronted by a mountain, if a 
river bars his advance, or his movements are hampered 
by hills, woods or broken country. Or again it may 4 
be modified by the character of the enemy or the 
nature of the crisis by which he is faced. On one 
occasion he will fight in line, on another in column, 
on one he will use his auxiliary troops, on another his 
legionaries ; while occasionally a feint of flight may 
win the day. So, too, with the rules of oratory. Is 5 
the exordium necessary or superfluous? should it be 
long or short ? addressed entirely to the judge or 
sometimes directed to some other quarter by the 
employment of some figure of speech ? l Should the 
statement of facts be concise or developed at some 
length ? continuous or divided into sections ? and 
should it follow the actual or an artificial order of 
events ? The orator will find the answers to all these 
questions in the circumstances of the case. So, too, 
with the order in which questions should be discussed, 



6 cum in eadem controversia aliud alii parti prius 
quaeri frequenter expediat. Neque enim rogationi- 
bus plebisve scitis sancta sunt ista praecepta, sed 

7 hoc quidquid est utilitas excogitavit. Non negabo 
autem sic utile esse plerumque, alioqui nee scribe- 
rem ; verum, si eadem ilia nobis aliud suadebit 
utilitas, hanc relictis magistrorum auctoritatibus 

8 Equidem id maxime praecipiam ac repetens iterum- 
que iterumqiie moneho : res duas in omni actu spectet 
orator, quid deceat et quid expediat. Expedit 
autem saepe mutare ex illo constitute traditoque 
ordine aliqua et interim decet, ut in statuis atque 
picturis videmus variari habitus,, vultus, status. Nam 

9 recti quidem corporis vel minima gratia est ; nempe 
enim adversa sit facies et demissa brachia et iuncti 
pedes et a summis ad ima rigens opus. Flexus ille 
et, ut sic dixerim, motus dat actum quendam et 
adfectum. Ideo iiec ad unum modum formatae 

10 manus et in vultu mille species. Cursum habent 
quaedam et impetum, sedent alia vel incumbunt ; 
nuda haec, ilia velata sunt, quaedam mixta ex 
utroque. Quid tarn distortum et elaboratum quam 
est ille discobolos Myronis ? Si quis tamen, 

'Verg. Aen. iii. 436. 

BOOK II. xin. 6-10 

since in any given debate it may often suit one party 6 
best that such and such a question come up first, 
while their opponents would be best suited by another. 
For these rules have not the formal authority of laws 
or decrees of the plebs, but are, with all they contain, 
the children of expediency. I will not deny that it 7 
is generally expedient to conform to such rules, other- 
wise I should not be writing now ; but if our friend 
expediency suggests some other course to us, why, 
we shall disregard the authority of the professors 
and follow her. 

For my part above all things 8 

"This I enjoin and urge and urge anew " 1 

that in all his pleadings the orator should keep two 
things constantly in view, what is becoming and what 
is expedient. But it is often expedient and occa- 
sionally becoming to make some modification in the 
time-honoured order. We see the same thing in 
pictures and statues. Dress, expression and attitude 
are frequently varied. The body when held bolt 9 
upright has but little grace, for the face looks straight 
forward, the arms hang by the side, the feet are 
joined and the whole figure is stiff from top to toe. 
But that curve, I might almost call it motion, with 
which we are so familiar, gives an impression of action 
and animation. So, too, the hands will not always be 
represented in the same position, and the variety 
given to the expression will be infinite. Some figures 10 
are represented as running or rushing forward, others 
sit or recline, some are nude, others clothed, while 
some again are half-dressed, half-naked. Where can 
we find a more violent and elaborate attitude than 
that of the Discobolus of Myron ? Yet the critic who 



ut parum rectum, improbet opus, nonne ab 
intellectu artis abfuerit, in qua vel praecipue 
laudabilis est ipsa ilia novitas ac difficultas ? 

1 1 Quam quidem gratiam et delectationem adferunt 
figurae, quaeque in sensibus quaeque in verbis sunt ; 
mutant enim aliquid a recto atque hanc prae se 
virtutem ferunt, quod a consuetudine vulgari reces- 

12 serunt. Habet in pictura speciem tota facies ; 
Apelles tamen imaginem Antigoni latere tantum 
altero ostendit, ut amissi oculi deformitas lateret. 
Quid? non in oratione operienda sunt quaedam, sive 
ostendi non debent sive exprimi pro dignitate non 

13 possunt? Ut fecit Timanthes, opinor, Cythnius in 
ea tabula, qua Coloten Teium vicit. Nam cum in 
Iphigeniae immolatione pinxisset tristem Calchan- 
tem, tristiorem Ulixen, addidisset Menelao, quern 
surmnum poterat ars efficere, maerorem, consumptis 
adfectibus, non reperiens, quo digne modo patris 
vultum posset exprimere, velavit eius caput et suo 

14 cuique animo dedit aestimandum. Nonne huic 
simile est illud Sallustianum, Nam de Carthagine 
tacere satins puto quam panim dicere ? Propter quae 
mihi semper moris fuit, quam minime alligare me ad 
praecepta, quae KaOoXiKa. vocitant, id est (ut dicamus 
quomodo possumus) universalia vel perpetualia. Raro 
enim reperitur hoc genus, ut non labefactari parte 

1 Jug. xix. 

BOOK II. xin. 10-14 

disapproved of the figure because it was not upright, 
would merely show his utter failure to understand the 
sculptor's art, in which the very novelty and difficulty 
of execution is what most deserves our praise. A 11 
similar impression of grace and charm is produced by 
rhetorical figures, whether they be figures of thought 
or fgures of speech. For they involve a certain de- 
parture from the straight line and have the merit of 
variation from the ordinary usage. In a picture the 12 
full face is most attractive. But Apelles painted 
Antigonus in profile, to conceal the blemish caused 
by the loss of one eye. So, too, in speaking, there 
are certain things which have to be concealed, either 
because they ought not to be disclosed or because 
they cannot be expressed as they deserve. Timanthes, 13 
who was, 1 think, a native of Cythnus, provides an 
example of this in the picture with which he won the 
victory over Colotes of Teos. It represented the 
sacrifice of Iphigenia, and the artist had depicted an 
expression of grief on the face of Calchas and of still 
greater grief on that of Ulysses, while he had given 
Menelaus an agony of sorrow beyond which his art 
could not go. Having exhausted his powers of emo- 
tional expression he was at a loss to portray the 
father's face as it deserved, and solved the problem 
by veiling his head and leaving his sorrow to the 
imagination of the spectator. Sallust 1 did some- 14 
thing similar when he wrote "I think it better to say 

c^ * 

nothing of Carthage rather than say too little." It 
has always, therefore, been my custom not to tie my- 
self down to universal or general rules (this being the 
nearest equivalent I can find for the Greek catholic 
rules}. For rules are rarely of such a kind that their 
validity cannot be shaken and overthrown in some 



15 aliqua et subrui possit. Sed de his plenius suo 
quidque loco tractabimus. Interim nolo se iuvenes 
satis instructos, si quern ex his, qui breves plerumque 
circumferuntur, artis libellum edidicerint, et velut 
decretis technicorum tutos putent. Multo labore, 
assiduo studio, varia exercitatione, plurimis experi- 
mentis, altissima prudentia, praesentissimo consilio 

16 constat ars dicendi. Sed adiuvatur liis quoque, si 
tamen rectam viam, non unam orbitam monstrent ; 
a qua declinare qui crediderit nefas, patiatur necesse 
est illam per funes ingredientium tarditatem. Itaque 
et stratum militari labore iter saepe deserimus com- 
pendio ducti ; et, si rectum limitem rupti torrentibus 
pontes inciderint, circumire cogemur, et, si ianua 

17 tenebitur incendio, per parietem exibimus. Late 
fusum opus est et multiplex et prope cotidie novum, 
et de quo minquam dicta erunt omnia. Quae sint 
tamen tradita, quid ex his optimum, et si qua mutari, 
adiici, detrahi melius videbitur, dicere experiar. 

XIV. Rhetoricen in Latinum transferentes turn 
oratoriam, turn oratricem nominaveruiit. Quos equi- 
dem non fraudaverim debita laude, quod copiam 
Romani sermonis augere temptarint. Sed non omnia 


BOOK II. xiii. 14-xiv. i 

particular or other. But I must reserve each of these 15 
points for fuller treatment in its proper place. For 
the present I will only say that I do not want young 
men to think their education complete when they 
have mastered one of the small text-books of which 
so many are in circulation, or to ascribe a talismanic 
value to the arbitrary decrees of theorists. The art 
of speaking can only be attained by hard work and 
assiduity of study, by a variety of exercises and re- 
peated trial, the highest prudence and unfailing 
quickness of judgement. But rules are helpful all the 16 
same so long as they indicate the direct road and do 

not restrict us absolutely to the ruts made by others. 
For he who thinks it an unpardonable sin to leave the 
old, old track, must be content to move at much the 
same speed as a tight-rope walker. Thus, for example, 
we often leave a paved military road to take a short 
cut or, finding that the direct route is impossible 
owing to floods having broken down the bridges, are 
forced to make a circuit, while if our house is on fire 
and flames bar the way to the front door, we make 
our escape by breaking through a party wall. The 17 
orator's task covers a large ground, is extremely 
varied and develops some new aspect almost every 
day, so that the last word on the subject will never 
have been said. I shall however try to set forth the 
traditional rules and to point out their best features, 
mentioning the changes, additions and subtractions 
which seem desirable. 

XIV. Rhetoric is a Greek term which has been 
translated into Latin by oratorio, or oratrix. I would 
not for the world deprive the translators of the 
praise which is their due for attempting to increase 
the vocabulary of our native tongue; but translations 



nos ducentes ex Graeco sequuntur sicut ne illos 
quidem, quotiens utique suis verbis signare nostra 

2 voluerunt. Et haec interpretatio non minus dura 
est quam ilia Plauti essentia atque queentia, sed ne 
propria quidem ; nam oratoria sic effertur ut elocu- 
toria, oratrix ut elocutrix ; ilia autem de qua loqui- 
mur rhetorice talis est qualis eloquentia, nee dubie 
apud Graecos quoque duplicem intellectum habet. 

3 Namque uno modo fit appositum ars rhetorica ut 
navis piratica, altero nomen rei, qualis est philo- 
sophia, amicitia. Nos ipsam mine volumus signifi- 
care substantiam ut grammatice litteratura est, non 
litteratrix quemadmodum oratrix, nee litteratoria 
quemadmodum oratoria ; verum id in rhetorice non 

4 fit. Ne pugnemus igitur, cum praesertim plurimis 
alioqui Graecis sit utendum. Nam certe et philo- 
sophos et musicos et geometras dicam, nee vim 
adferam nominibus his indecora in Latinum sermonem 
mutatione. Denique cum M. Tullius etiam in ipsis 
librorunij quos hac de re primum scripserat, titulis 
Graeco nomine utatur, profecto non est verendum, 
ne temere videamur oratori maximo de nomine artis 
suae credidisse. 

5 Igitur rhetorice (iam enim sine metu cavillationis 
utemur hac appellatione) sic, ut opinor, optime 
dividetur, ut de arte, de artifice, de opere dicamus. 
Ars erit, quae disciplina percipi debet ; ea est bene 

1 sr. essence and possibility. 5 A Stoic, cp. x. i. 124. 
8 See 6 of next chapter. 


BOOK II. xiv. 1-5 

from Greek into Latin are not always satisfactory, 
just as the attempt to represent Latin words 
in a Greek dress is sometimes equally unsuccessful. 
And the translations in question are fully as 2 
harsh as the essentia and queentia l of Plautus, 2 
and have not even the merit of being exact. 
For oratorio, is formed like elocutoria and oratrix 
like elocutrix, whereas the rhetoric with which 
we are concerned is rather to be identified with 
eloquentia, and the word is undoubtedly used in two 
senses by the Greeks. In the one case it is an 3 
adjective i.e. ars rhelorica, the rhetorical art, like 
piratic in the phrase nauis piratic a, in the other it is 
a noun like philosophy or friendship. It is as a sub- 
stantive that we require it here ; now the correct 
translation of the Greek grammatice is litteratura not 
litteralrix or litteratoria, which would be the forms 
analogous to oratrix and oratoria. But in the case of 
" rhetoric " there is no similar Latin equivalent. It is 4 
best therefore not to quarrel about it, more especially 
as we have to use Greek terms in many other cases. 
For I may at least use the words philosophies, musicus 
and geomctres without outraging them by changing 
them into clumsy Latin equivalents. Finally, 
since Cicero gave a Greek title 3 to the earlier works 
which he wrote on this subject, I may without fear 
of rashness accept the great orator as sufficient 
authority for the name of the art which he pro- 

To resume, then, rhetoric (for I shall now use the 6 
name without fear of captious criticism) is in my 
opinion best treated under the three following heads, 
the art, the artist and the work. The art is that 
which we should acquire by study, and is the art of 



dicendi scientia. Artifex est, qui percepit hanc 
artem, id est, orator, cuius est summa bene dicere ; 
opus, quod efficitur ab artifice, id est, bona oratio. 
Haec omnia rursus diducuntur in species ; sed ilia 
sequentia suo loco, nunc quae de prima parte trac- 
tanda sunt, ordiar. 

XV. Ante omnia, quid sit rhetorice. Quae finitur 
quidem varie, sed quaestionem habet duplicem, aut 
enim de qualitate ipsius rei aut de comprehensione 
verborum dissensio est. Prima atque praecipua 
opinionum circa hoc differentia, quod alii malos 
quoque viros posse oratores dici putant ; alii, quorum 
nos sententiae accedimus, nomen hoc artemque, 
de qua loquimur, bonis demum tribui volunt. 

2 Eorum autem, qui dicendi facultatem a maiore ac 
magis expetenda vitae laude secernunt, quidam 
rhetoricen vim tantum, quidam scientiam sed non 
virtutem, quidam usum, quidam artem quidem sed a 
scientia et virtute diiunctam, quidam etiam pravi- 
tatem quandam artis, id est KaKore^vtai', nomina- 

3 verunt. Hi fere aut in persuadendo aut in dicendo 
apte ad persuadendum positum orandi munus sunt 
arbitrati. Id enim fieri potest ab eo quoque, qui vir 
bonus non sit. Est igitur frequentissimus finis, 
rhetoricen esse vim persuadendi. Quod ego vim 
appello, plerique potestatem, nonnulli facultatem 
vocant ; quae res ne quid adferat ambiguitatis, rim 

4 dico Swa/iiv. Haec opinio originem ab Isocrate (si 


BOOK II. xiv. 5-xv. 4 

speaking well. The artist is he who has acquired the 
art, that is to say, he is the orator whose task it is 
to speak well. The work is the achievement of 
the artist, namely good speaking. Each of these 
three general divisions is in its turn divided into 
species. Of the two latter divisions I shall speak 
in their proper place. For the present I shall pro- 
ceed to a discussion of the first. 

XV. The first question which confronts us is 
" What is rhetoric ? " Many definitions have been 
given ; but the problem is really twofold. For the 
dispute turns either on the quality of the thing 
itself or on the meaning of the words in which it 
is defined. The first and chief disagreement on the 
subject is found in the fact that some think that 
even bad men may be called orators, while others, 
of whom I am one, restrict the name of orator and 
the art itself to those who are good. Of those who 
divorce eloquence from that yet fairer and more de- 
sirable title to renown, a virtuous life, some call 
rhetoric merely a power, some a science, but not a 
virtue, some a practice, some an art, though they will 
not allow the art to have anything in common with 
science or virtue, while some again call it a perver- 
sion of art or Ka/corexvia. These persons have as a 
rule held that the task of oratory lies in persuasion 
or speaking in a persuasive manner : for this is 
within the power of a bad man no less than a good. 
Hence we get the common definition of rhetoric as 
the power of persuading. What I call a power, 
many call a capacity, and some a faculty. In order 
therefore that there may be no misunderstanding I 
will say that by power I mean Swa/xis. This view 
is derived from Isocrates, if indeed the treatise on 



tamen revera Ars, quae circumfertur, eius est) duxit. 
Qui, cum longe sit a voluntate infamantium oratoris 
officia, finem artis temere comprehendit, dicens esse 
rhetoric-en persuaclendi opificem, id est 7rei$ous Sr//^- 
ovpyov ; neque enim mihi permiserim eadem uti 
declinatione, qua Ennius M. Cethegum Suadac 

5 meduUam vocat. Apud Platonem quoque Gorgias in 
libro, qui nomine eius inscriptus est,, idem fere dicit ; 
sed hanc Plato illius opinionem vult accipi non suam. 
Cicero pluribus locis scripsit, officium oratoris esse 

6 dicere apposite ad persuadendum. In rhetoricis etiam, 
quos sine dubio ipse non probat, finem facit persua- 
dere. Verum et pecunia persuadet et gratia et 
auctoritas dicentis et dignitas, postremo aspectus 
etiam ipse sine voce, quo vel recordatio meritorum 
cuiusque vel facies aliqua miserabilis vel formae 

7 pulchritudo sententiam dictat. Nam et Manium 
Aquilium defendens Antonius, cum scissa veste 
cicatrices_, quas is pro patria pectore adverso susce- 
piss^t, osteridit, non orationis habuit fiduciam sed 
oculis populi Romani vim attulit, quern illo ipso 
aspectu maxime motum in hoc ; ut absolveret reum, 

8 creditum est. Servium quidem Galbam miseratione 
sola, qua non suos modo liberos parvulos in contione 

1 This treatise is lost. It may have been the work of the 
younger Isocrates. 

2 Ann. ix. 309 (Vahlen). The derivative to which he 
objects is the rare word suada. 3 Gorg. 453 A. 

* de Inv. I. v. fi, de Or. i. xxxi. 138. 


BOOK II. xv. 4-8 

rhetoric l which circulates under his name is really 
from his hand. He, although far from agreeing 
with those whose aim is to disparage the duties of 
an orator, somewhat rashly defined rhetoric as 
7ra$ot'5 Bri/jiiovp-yos, the "worker of persuasion": for 
I cannot bring myself to use the peculiar derivative 
which Ennius 2 applies to Marcus Cethegus in the 
phrase suadae medulla, the "marrow of persuasion." 
Again Gorgias, 3 in the dialogue of Plato that takes 5 
its title from his name, says practically the same 
thing, but Plato intends it to be taken as the opinion 
of Gorgias, not as his own. Cicero 4 in more than 
one passage defined the duty of an orator as "speak- 
ing in a persuasive manner." In his Rhetorica b too, 6 
a work which it is clear gave him no satisfaction, he 
makes the end to be persuasion. But many other 
things have the power of persuasion, such as money, 
influence, the authority and rank of the speaker, or 
even some sight unsupported by language, when 
for instance the place of words is supplied by the 
memory of some individual's great deeds, by his 
lamentable appearance or the beauty of his person. 
Thus when Antonius in the course of his defence of 7 
Manius Aquilius tore open his client's robe and re- 
vealed the honourable scars which he had acquired 
while facing his country's foes, he relied no longer 
on the power of his eloquence, but appealed directly 
to the eyes of the Roman people. And it is believed 
that they were so profoundly moved by the sight as 
to acquit the accused. Again there is a speech of 8 
Cato, to mention no other records, which informs us 
that Servius Galba escaped condemnation solely by 

B cp. m. i. 20 and Cic. de Or. I. ii. 5. The work in question 
is better known as the de Inventione. 



produxerat, sed Galli etiam Sulpicii filium suis ipse 
manibus circumtulerat, elapsum esse, cum aliorum 
9 monumentis turn Catonis oratione testatum est. Et 
Phrynen non Hyperidis actione, quanquam admira- 
bili, sed conspectu corporis, quod ilia speciosissimum 
alioqui diducta nudaverat tunica, putant periculo 
liberatam. Quae si omnia persuadent, non est hie, 

10 de quo locuti sumus, idoneus finis. Ideoque dili- 
gentiores sibi sunt visi, qui, cum de rhetorice idem 
sentirent, existimaverunt earn vim dicendo persua- 
dendi. Quern finem Gorgias in eodem, de quo 
supra diximus, lil)ro, velut coactus a Socrate facit ; a 
quo non dissentit Theodectes, sive ipsius id opus est, 
quod de rhetorice nomine eius inscribitur, sive, ut 
creditum est, Aristotelis, in quo est, finem esse 
rhetorices ducere homines dicendo in id, quod actor 

11 velit. Sed ne hoc quidem satis est comprehensum ; 
persuadent enim dicendo vel ducunt in id quod 
volunt alii quoque, ut meretrices, adulatores, corrup- 
tores. At contra non persuadet semper orator ; ut 
interim non sit proprius hie finis eius, interim sit 
communis cum iis, qui ab oratore procul absunt. 

12 Atqui lion mul turn ab hoc fine abest Apollodorus, 
dicens iudicialis orationis primum et super omnia 
esse persuadere iudici et sententiam eius ducere in 

1 Gorg. p. 452 K. 


BOOK II. xv. 8-12 

the pit} 7 which he aroused not only by producing his 
own young children before the assembly, but by 
carrying round in his arms the son of Sulpicius 
Gallus. So also according to general opinion Phryne 9 
was saved not by the eloquence of Hyperides, ad- 
mirable as it was, but by the sight of her exquisite 
body, which she further revealed by drawing aside 
her tunic. And if all these have power to per- 
suade, the end of oratory, which we are discussing, 
cannot adequately be denned as persuasion. Con- 10 
sequently those who, although holding the same 
general view of rhetoric, have regarded it as the 
power of persuasion by speaking, pride themselves on 
their greater exactness of language. This definition 
is given by Gorgias, in the dialogue l mentioned 
above, under compulsion from the inexorable logic of 
Socrates. Theodectes agrees with him, whether the 
treatise on rhetoric which has come down to us 
under his name is really by him or, as is generally 
believed, by Aristotle. In that work the end of 
rhetoric is defined as the leading of men by the 
power of speech to the conclusioji desired by the orator. 
But even this definition is not sufficiently compre- 11 
iiensive, since others besides orators persuade by 
speaking or lead others to the conclusion desired, as 
for example harlots, flatterers and seducers. On 
the other hand the orator is not always engaged on 
persuasion, so that sometimes persuasion is not his 
special object, while sometimes it is shared by 
others who are far removed from being orators. And 12 
yet Apollodorus is not very far off this definition 
when he asserts that the first and all-important task 
of forensic oratory is to persuade the judge and lead 
his mind to the conclusions desired by the speaker. For 



id, quod velit ; nam et ipse oratorem fortunae sub- 
iicit, ut, si non persuaserit, nomen suum retinere 

13 non possit. Quidam recesserunt ab eventu, sicut 
Aristoteles dicit : rhelorice cst vis inveniendi omnia in 
orations persuasibilia. Qui finis et illud vitium, de 
quo supra diximus, habet et insuper quod nihil nisi 
inventionem complectitur, quae sine elocutione non 

14 est oratio. Hermagorae, qui finem eius esse ait per- 
suasibiliter dicere, et aliis, qui eandem sententiam 
non iisdem tantum verbis explicant ac finem esse 
demonstrant dicere quae oporteat omnia ad persua- 
dendum, satis responsum est, cum persuadere non 

15 tantum oratoris esse convicimus. Addita sunt his 
alia varie. Quidam enim circa res omnes, quidam 
circa civiles modo versari rhetoricen putaverunt; 
quorum verius utrum sit, in eo loco, qui huius quae- 

16 stionis proprius est, dicam. Omnia subiecisse oratori 
videtur Aristoteles, cum dixit vim esse videndi, quid 
in quaque re possit esse persuasibile. Et Patrocles, 1 
qui noil quidem adiicit in quaque re, sed nihil excipi- 
endo idem ostendit ; vim enim vocat inveniendi, quod 
sit in oratione persuasibile ; qui fines et ipsi solam 
complectuntur inventionem. Quod vitium fugiens 
Theodorus vim putat inveniendi et eloquendi cum 

17 ornatu credibilia in omni oratione. Sed cum eodem 

1 latrocles, B. latrocles, Radermachcr. 

1 Rhet. i. 2. 

BOOK II. xv. 12-17 

even Apollodorus makes the orator the sport of for- 
tune by refusing him leave to retain his title if he 
fails to persuade. Some on the other hand pay no 13 
attention to results, as for example Aristotle, 1 who 
says " rhetoric is the power of discovering all means of 
persuading by speech." This definition has not merely 
the fault already mentioned, but the additional de- 
fect of including merely the power of invention, 
which without style cannot possibly constitute 
oratory. Hermagoras, who asserts that its end is to 14 
speak persuasively, and others who express the same 
opinion, though in different words, and inform us 
that the end is to say everything which ought to be 
said with a view to persuasion, have been sufficiently 
answered above, when I proved that persuasion was 
not the privilege of the orator alone. Various additions 1ft 
have been made to these definitions. For some hold 
that rhetoric is concerned with everything, while 
some restrict its activity to politics. The question 
as to which of these views is the nearer to the truth 
shall be discussed later in its appropriate place. Aris- 16 
totle seems to have implied that the sphere of the 
orator was all-inclusive when he defined rhetoric as 
the power to detect every element in any given subject 
which might conduce to persuasion ; so too does Patro- 
cles who omits the words in any given subject, but 
since he excludes nothing, shows that his view is 
identical. For he defines rhetoric as the power to 
discover whatever is persuasive in speech. These defini- 
tions like that quoted above include no more than 
the power of invention alone. Theodorus avoids this 
fault and holds that it is the power to discover and to 
utter forth in elegant language whatever is credible in 
every subject of oratory. But, while others besides 17 



modo credibilia quo persuasibilia etiam non orator 
inveniat, adiiciendo in omni oralione magis quam 
superiores concedit scelera quoque suadentibus pul- 

18 cherrimae rei nomen. Gorgias apud Platonem sua- 
dendi se artificem in iudiciis et aliis coetibus esse 
ait, de iustis quoque et iniustis tractare ; cui Socrates 

19 persuadendi, non docendi concedit facultatem. Qui 
vero non omnia subiiciebant oratori, sollicitius ac 
verbosius, ut necesse erat, adhibuerunt discrimina ; 
quorum fuit Ariston, Critolai Peripatetic! discipulus, 
cuius hie finis est, scientia videndi et agendi in quae- 
stionibus civilibus per orationem popularis persuasionis. 

20 Hie scientiam, quia Peripateticus est, non, ut 
Stoici, virtutis loco ponit ; popularem aut.ern coin- 
prehendendo persuasionem etiam contumeliosus est 
adversus artem orandi, quam nihil putat doctis per- 
suasuram. Illud de omnibus, qui circa civiles demurn 
quaestiones oratorem iudicant versari, dictum sit, 
excludi ab his plurima oratoris officia, illam certe 
laudativam totam, quae est rhetorices pars tertia. 

21 Cautius Theodorus Gadareus, ut iam ad eos veniamus, 
qui artem quidem esse earn sed non virtutem puta- 
verunt. Ita enim dicit (ut ipsis eorum verbis utar, 
qui haec ex Graeco transtulerunt), Ars inventrix et 
iudicatrix et nuntiatrix decenti ornatu secundum mensio- 
nem eius, quod in quoque potest sumi persuasibile, in 

22 inateria civili. Itemque Cornelius Celsus, qui finem 

1 Gorg. 454 B. 

BOOK II. xv. 17-22 

orators may discover what is credible as well as per- 
suasive, by adding the words in every subject he, to a 
greater extent than the others, concedes the fairest 
name in all the world to those who use their gifts as 
an incitement to crime. Plato makes Gorgias ] say 18 
that he is a master of persuasion in the law-courts 
and other assemblies, and that his themes are justice 
and injustice, while in reply Socrates allows him the 
power of persuading, but not of teaching. Those 19 
who refused to make the sphere of oratory all-inclu- 
sive, have been obliged to make somewhat forced 
and long-winded distinctions : among these I may 
mention Ariston, the pupil of the Peripatetic Crito- 
laus, who produced the following definition, ''Rhetoric 
is the science of seeing and uttering what ought to be 
said on political questions in language that is likely to 
prove persuasive to the people." Being a Peripatetic he 20 
regards it as a science, not, like the Stoics, as a 
virtue, while in adding the words " likely to prove 
persuasive to the people" he inflicts a positive insult on 
oratory, in implying that it is not likely to persuade the 
learned. The same criticism will apply to all those who 
restrict oratory to political questions, for they ex- 
clude thereby a large number of the duties of an 
orator, as for example panegyric, the third depart- 
ment of oratory, which is entirely ignored. Turning 21 
to those who regard rhetoric as an art, but not as a 
virtue, we find that Theodorus of Gadara is more 
cautious. For he says (I quote the words of his 
translators), " rhetoric is the art which discovers and 
judges and expresses, with an elegance duly proportioned 
to the importance of all such elements of persuasion as 
may exist in any subject in the Jield of politics" Simi- 22 
larly Cornelius Celsus defines the end of rhetoric as 



rhetorices ait dicere persuasibiliter in dubia civili 
materia. Quibus sunt non dissimiles, qui ab aliis 
traduntur ; qualis est ille, Vis videndi et eloquendi de 
rebus civilibus subieciis sibi cum quadam persuasions et 
quodam corporis habilu et corum, quae dicet, pronuntia- 

23 tione. Mille alia, sed ant eadem aut ex eisdem 
composita ; quibus item, cum de materia rhetorices 
dicendum erit, respondebimus. Quidam earn neque 
vim neque scientiam neque artem putaverunt, sed 
Critolaus usum dicendi (nam hoc TpLfSrj significat), 

24 Athenaeus fallendi artem. Plerique autem, dum 
pauca ex Gorgia Platonis a prioribus imperite ex- 
cerpta legere content! neque hoc totum neque alia 
eius volumina evolvunt, in maximum errorem inci- 
derunt, creduntque eum in hac esse opinione, ut 
rhetoricen non artem sed peritiam quandam gratiae 

25 ac voluptatis existimet ; et alio loco civilitatis par- 
ticulae simulacrum et quartam partem adulationis, 
quod duas partes civilitatis corpori adsignet, medici- 
nam et quam interpretantur exercitatricem, duas 
animo, legalem atque iustitiam ; adulationem autem 
medicinae vocet cocorum artificium, exercitatricis 
mangonum, qui colorem fuco et verum robur inani 
sagina mentiantur, legalis cavillatricem, iustitiae 

26 rhetoricen. Quae omnia sunt quidem scripta in hoc 
libro dictaque a Socrate, cuius persona videtur Plato 

1 Gorg. 4(J2c. 2 ib. 463D. 

3 ib. 4(3 IB. 4 ib. 464 B 405 E. 


BOOK II. xv. 22-26 

lo speak persuasively on any doubtful subject within the 
Jield of politics. Similar definitions are given by 
others, such for instance as the following : " rhetoric 
is the power of judging and holding forth on such poli- 
tical subjects as come before it with a certain persuasive- 
ness, a certain action of the body and delivery of the 
words." There are countless other definitions, 23 
either identical with this or composed of the same 
elements, which I shall deal with when I come to 
the questions concerned with the subject matter of 
rhetoric. Some regard it as neither a power, a 
science or an art ; Critolaus calls it the practice of 
speaking (for this is the meaning of rpi/3?/), 
Athenaeus styles it the art of deceiving, while the 24 
majority, content with reading a few passages from 
the Gorgias of Plato, unskilfully excerpted by 
earlier writers, refrain from studying that dialogue 
and the remainder of Plato's writings, and thereby 
fall into serious error. For they believe that in 
Plato's view rhetoric was not an art, but a certain 
adroitness in the production of delight and gratijlca- 
tion, 1 or with reference to another passage the 25 
shadow of a small part of politics* and the fourth de- 
partment of flattery. For Plato assigns 3 two depart- 
ments of politics to the body, namely medicine and 
gymnastic, and two to the soul, namely law and 
justice, while he styles the art of cookery 4 a form of 
flattery of medicine, the art of the slave-dealer a 
flattery of gymnastic, for they produce a false com- 
plexion by the use of paint and a false robustness 
by puffing them out with fat : sophistry he calls a 
dishonest counterfeit of legal science, and rhetoric of 
justice. All these statements occur in the Gorgiasand 26 
are uttered by Socrates who appears to be the mouth- 



significare quid sentiat ; sed alii sunt eius sermones 
ad coarguendos, qui contra disputant, compositi, quos 
eAeyKTiKov's vocant, alii ad praecipiendum, qui Soy//a- 

27 TLKOL appellantur. Socrates autem seu Plato earn 
quidem, quae turn exercebatur, rhetoricen talem 
putat, nam et dicit his verbis TOVTOV TOV rpoTrov, ov 
tyxcis 7roA.n-eveo-$e, veram autem et honestam intelligit. 
Itaque disputatio ilia contra Gorgian ita clauditur, 
OVKOVV avayKr) TOV prjTOptKOV OLKU.IOV tlvai, TOV 8e Sucaiov 

28 (3ov\eo-@ai Sucaia Trparreiv ; Ad quod ille quidem con- 
ticescit, sed sermonem suscipit Polus iuvenili calore 
inconsideratior, contra quem ilia de simulacro et 
adulatione dicuntur. Turn Callicles adhuc concita- 
tior, qui tamen ad hanc perducitur clausulam, TOV 
/jL\\ovTa op$a>5 prjTopiKov t(To~6ai, OLKO.LOV avopa Set cum 
Kat eiria-TrjfLova TWV Si/cauov ; ut appareat, Platoni non 
rhetoricen videri malum, sed earn veram nisi iusto ac 

29 bono non contingere. Adhuc autem in Phaedro 
manifestius facit, hanc artem consummari citra 
iustitiae quoque scientiam non posse ; cui opinioni 
nos quoque accedimus. An aliter defensionem So- 
cratis et eorum, qui pro patria ceciderant, laudem 

30 scripsisset? quae certe sunt oratoris opera. Sed in 
illud hominum genus, quod facilitate dicendi male 
utebatur, invectus est. Nam et Socrates inhonestam 

1 500 c. 2 460 c. 3 508 c. 

4 261 A-273 E. 6 Menexenus. 

BOOK II. xv. 26-30 

piece of the views held by Plato. But some of his 
dialogues were composed merely to refute his 
opponents and are styled ref illative, while others are 
for the purpose of teaching and are called doctrinal. 
Now it is only rhetoric as practised in their own day 27 
that is condemned by Plato or Socrates, for he 
speaks of it as " the manner in which you engage in 
public affairs " 1 : rhetoric in itself he regards as a 
genuine and honourable thing, and consequently the 
controversy with Gorgias ends with the words, " The 
rhetorician therefore must be just and the just man 
desirous to do what is just." 2 To this Gorgias 28 
makes no reply, but the argument is taken up by 
Polus, a hot-headed and headstrong young fellow, 
and it is to him that Socrates makes his remarks 
about " shadows " and "forms of flattery." Then 
Callicles, 3 who is even more hot-headed, intervenes, 
but is reduced to the conclusion that "he who would 
truly be a rhetorician ought to be just and possess a 
knowledge of justice." It is clear therefore that 
Plato does not regard rhetoric as an evil, but holds 
that true rhetoric is impossible for any save a just 
arid good man. In the Phaedrus 4 he makes it even 29 
clearer that the complete attainment of this art is 
impossible without the knowledge of justice, an 
opinion in which I heartily concur. Had this not 
been his view, would he have ever written the 
Apology of Socrates or the Funeral Oration 5 in 
praise of those who had died in battle for their 
country, both of them works falling within the 
sphere of oratory. It was against the class of men 30 
who employed their glibness of speech for evil pur- 
poses that he directed his denunciations. Similarly 
Socrates thought it incompatible with his honour to 



sibi credidit orationem, quam ei Lysias reo compo- 
suerat ; et turn maxime scribere litigatoribus, quae 
illi pro se ipsi dicerent, erat moris, atque ita iuri, quo 
non licebat pro altero agere, fraus adhibebatur. 

31 Doctores quoque eius artis parum idonei Platoni 
videbantur, qui rhetoricen a iustitia separarent et 
veris credibilia praeferrent ; nam id quoque dicit in 

32 Phaedro. Consensisse autem illis superioribus videri 
potest etiam Cornelius Celsus, cuius liaec verba sunt : 
Orator simile tantum veri petit. Deinde paulo post : 
Non enim bona conscientia sed victoria litigantis est 
praemium. Quae si vera essent, pessimorum homi- 
num foret, haec tarn perniciosa nocentissimis moribus 
dare instrumenta et nequitiam praeceptis adiuvare. 
Sed illi rationem opinionis suae viderint. 

33 Nos autem ingress! formare perfectum oratorem, 
quern in primis esse virum bonum volumus, ad eos. 
qui de hoc opere melius sentiunt, revertamur. Rhe- 
toricen autem quidam eandem civilitatem esse iudi- 
caverunt ; Cicero scientiae civilis partem vocat (civilis 
autem scientia idem quod sapientia est) ; quidam 

34 eandem philosophiam, quorum est Isocrates. Huic 
eius substantiae maxime conveniet finitio, rhetoricen 
esse bene dicendi scientiam. Nam et orationis 
omnes virtutes semel complectitur et protinus etiam 
mores oratoris, cum bene dicere non possit nisi bonus. 

35 Idem valet Chrysippi finis ille ductus a Cleanthe 

1 267 A, with special reference to Tisias and Gorgias. 

2 de Inv. i. v. 6. 

BOOK II. xv. 30-35 

make use of the speech which Lysias composed for 
his defence, although it was the usual practice in 
those days to write speeches for the parties con- 
cerned to speak in the courts on their own behalf, 
a device designed to circumvent the law which for- 
bade the employment of advocates. Further the 31 
teachers of rhetoric were regarded by Plato as quite 
unsuited to their professed task. For they divorced 
rhetoric from justice and preferred plausibility to 
truth, as he states in the Pkaedri/s. 1 Cornelius Celsus 32 
seems to have agreed with these early rhetoricians, 
for he writes "The orator only aims at the semblance 
of truth," and again a little later " The reward of 
the party to a suit is not a good conscience, but vic- 
tory." If this were true, only the worst of men 
would place such dangerous weapons at the disposal 
of criminals or employ the precepts of their art for 
the assistance of wickedness. However I will leave 
those who maintain these views to consider what 
ground they have for so doing. 

For my part, I have undertaken the task of mould- 33 
ing the ideal orator, and as my first desire is that he 
should be a good man, 1 will return to those who 
have sounder opinions on the subject. Some how- 
ever identify rhetoric with politics, Cicero 2 calls it a 
department of the science of politics (and science of 
politics and philosophy are identical terms), while 
others again call it a branch of philosophy, among 
them Isocrates. The definition which best suits its 34 
real character is that which makes rhetoric the science 
of speaking well. For this definition includes all the 
virtues of oratory and the character of the orator as 
well, since no man can speak well who is not good 
himself. The definition given by Chrysippus, who 35 



scientia recte dicendi. Sunt plures eiusdem, sed ad 
alias quaestiones magis pertinent. Idem sentit et 
finis hoc modo comprehensus, persuadere quod 

36 oporteat, nisi quod artem ad exitum alligat. At 
bene Areus dicere secundum virtutem orationis. 
Excludunt a rhetorice malos et illi, qui scientiam 
civilium officiorum earn putaverunt, si scientiam vir- 
tutem iudicant ; sed anguste intra civiles quaestiones 
coercent. Albutius, non obscurus professor atque 
auctor, scientiam bene dicendi esse consentit, sed 
exceptionibus peccat adiiciendo circa civiles quae- 
stiones et credibiliter ; quarum utrique iam respon- 

37 sum est. Probabilis et illi voluntatis, qui recte 
sentire et dicere rhetorices putaverunt. 

Hi sunt fere fines maxime illustres et de quibus 
praecipue disputatur. Nam omnes quidem persequi 
neque attinet neque possum, cum pravum quoddam, 
ut arbitror, studium circa scriptores artium extiterit, 
nihil eisdem verbis, quae prior aliquis occupasset, 

38 finiendi, quae ambitio procul aberit a me. Dicam 
enim non utique quae invenero sed quae placebunt, 
sicut hoc, rhetoricen esse bene dicendi scientiam ; 

BOOK II. xv. 35-38 

derived it from Cleanthes, to the effect that it is the 
science of speaking rightly, amounts to the same thing. 
The same philosopher also gives other definitions, 
but they concern problems of a different character 
from that on which we are now engaged. Another 
definition defines oratory as the power of persuading 
men to do what ought to be done, and yields practically 
the same sense save that it limits the art to the result 
which it produces. Areus again defines it well as 36 
speaking according to the excellence of speech. Those who 
regard it as the science of political obligations, also 
exclude men of bad character from the title of orator, 
if by science they mean virtue, but restrict it over- 
much by confining it to political problems. Albutius, 
a distinguished author and professor of rhetoric, 
agrees that rhetoric is the science of speaking well, 
but makes a mistake in imposing restrictions by the 
addition of the words on political questions and with 
credibility ; with both of these restrictions I have 
already dealt. Finally those critics who hold that 37 
the aim of rhetoric is to think and speak rightly, were 
on the correct track. 

These are practically all the most celebrated and 
most discussed definitions of rhetoric. It would be 
both irrelevant and beyond my power to deal with all. 
For I strongly disapprove of the custom which has 
come to prevail among writers of text-books of refusing 
to define anything in the same terms as have been 
employed by some previous writer. I will have 
nothing to do with such ostentation. What I say 38 
will not necessarily be my own invention, but it will 
be what I believe to be the right view, as for instance 
that oratory is the science of speaking well. For 
when the most satisfactory definition has been 



cum reperto quod est optimum, qui quaerit aliud, 
peius velit. 

His approbatis, simul manifestum est illud quoque, 
quern finem vel quid summum et ultimum habeat 
rhetorice, quod Te'Aos dicitur, ad quod omnis ars 
tendit ; nam si est ipsa bene dicendi scientia, finis 
eius et summum est bene dicere. 

XVI. Sequitur quaestio, an utilis rhetorice. Nam 
quidam vehementer in earn invehi solent, et, quod 
sit indignissimum, in accusationem orationis utuntur 

2 orandi viribus : eloquentiam esse, quae poenis eripiat 
scelestos, cuius fraude damnentur interim boni, con- 
silia ducantur in peius, nee seditiones modo turbae- 
que populares sed bella etiam inexpiabilia excitentur ; 
cuius denique turn maximus sit usus, cum pro falsis 

3 contra veritatem valet. Nam et Socrati obiiciunt 
comici docere eum, quomodo peiorem causam melio- 
rem faciat, et contra Tisian et Gorgian similia dicit 

4 polliceri Plato. Et his adiiciunt exempla Graecorum 
Romanorumque et enumerant, qui perniciosa non 
singulis tantum sed rebus etiam publicis usi elo- 
quentia turbaverint civitatium status vel everterint, 
eoque et Lacedaemoniorum civitate expulsam et 
Athenis quoque, ubi actor movere adfectus vetabatur, 

5 velut recisam orandi potestatem. Quo quidem modo 
nee duces erunt utiles nee magistratus nee medicina 

BOOK II. xv. 3 8-xvi. 5 

found, he who seeks another, is merely looking for a 
worse one. 

Thus much being admitted we are now in 
a position to see clearly what is the end, the 
highest aim, the ultimate goal of rhetoric, that re'Aos 
in fact which every art must possess. For if rhetoric 
is the science of speaking well, its end and highest 
aim is to speak well. 

XVI. There follows the question as to whether 
rhetoric is useful. Some are in the habit of 
denouncing it most violently and of shamelessly 
employing the powers of oratory to accuse oratory 
itself. "It is eloquence" they say "that snatches 2 
criminals from the penalties of the law, eloquence 
that from time to time secures the condemna- 
tion of the innocent and leads deliberation astray, 
eloquence -that stirs up not merely sedition and 
popular tumult, but wars beyond all expiation, and 
that is most effective when it makes falsehood prevail 
over the truth." The comic poets even accuse 3 
Socrates of teaching how to make the worse cause 
seem the better, while Plato says that Gorgias and 
Tisias made similar professions. And to these they 4 
add further examples drawn from the history of 
Rome and Greece, enumerating all those who used 
their pernicious eloquence not merely against indi- 
viduals but against whole states and threw an ordered 
commonwealth into a state of turmoil or even brought 
it to utter ruin ; and they point out that for this 
very reason rhetoric was banished from Sparta, while 
its powers were cut down at Athens itself by the fact 
that an orator was forbidden to stir the passions of 
his audience. On the showing of these critics not only 5 
orators but generals, magistrates, medicine and philo- 


nee denique ipsa sapientia. Nam et dux Flaminius 
et Gracchi, Saturnini, Glauciae magistratus, et 
in medicis venena et in his, qui philosophorum 
nomine male utuntur, gravissima nonnunquarn flagitia 

6 deprehensa sunt. Cibos aspernemur ; attulerunt 
saepe valetudinis causas. Nunquam tecta subeamus ; 
super habitantes aliquando procumbunt. Non fabri- 
cetur militi gladius ; potest uti eodem ferro latro. 
Quis nescit, ignes, aquas, sine quibus nulla sit vita, 
et (ne terrenis imrnorer) solem lunamque, praecipua 
siderum, aliquando et nocere ? 

7 Num igitur negabitur deformem Pyrrhi pacem 
caecus ille Appius dicendi viribus diremisse ? aut 
non divina M. Tulli eloquentia et contra leges 
agrarias popularis fuit et Catilinae fregit audaciam 
et supplicationes, qui maximus honor victoribus bello 

8 ducibus datur, in toga meruit ': Nonne perterritos 
militum animos frequenter a metu revocat oratio et 
tot pugnandi pericula ineuntibus laudem vita potio- 
rem esse persuadet ? Neque vero me Lacedaernonii 
atque Athenienses magis moverint quarn populus 
Romanus, apud quern surnma semper oratoribus 

9 dignitas fuit. Equidem nee urbium conditores reor 
aliter effecturos fuisse ut vaga ilia multitudo coiret 
in populos, nisi docta voce commota ; nee legum 
repertores sine summa vi orandi consecutos, ut se 

1 i.e. though denouncing laws which would naturally be 


BOOK II. xvi. 5-9 

sopby itself will all be useless. For Flaminius was a 
general, while men such as the Gracchi, Saturninus 
and Glaucia were magistrates. Doctors have been 
caught using poisons,and those who falsely assume the 
name of philosopher have occasionally been detected 
in the gravest crimes. Let us give up eating, it t 
often makes us ill ; let us never go inside houses, 
for sometimes they collapse on their occupants ; 
let never a sword be forged for a soldier, since 
it might be used by a robber. And who does 
not realise that fire and water, both necessities of 
life, and, to leave mere earthly things, even the sun 
and moon, the greatest of the heavenly bodies, are 
occasionally capable of doing harm. 

On the other hand will it be denied that it was " 
by his gift of speech that Appius the Blind broke 
off the dishonourable peace which was on the point 
of beincr concluded with Pvrrhus ? Did not the 


divine eloquence of Cicero win popular applause 
even when he denounced the Agrarian laws, 1 did it 
not crush the audacious plots of Catiline and win, 
while he still wore the garb of civil life, the highest 
honour that can be conferred on a victorious general, 
a public thanksgiving to heaven ? Has not oratory S 
often revived the courage of a panic-stricken army 
and persuaded the soldier faced by all the perils of 
war that glorv is a fairer thing than life itself? Xor 
shall the history of Sparta and Athens move me 
more than that of the Roman people, who have 
always held the orator in highest honour. Never in 9 
my opinion would the founders of cities have in- 
duced their unsettled multitudes to form communi- 
ties had they not moved them by the magic of their 
eloquence : never without the highest gifts of oratory 



10 ipsi homines ad servitutem iuris astringerent. Quin 
ipsa vitae praecepta, etiamsi natura sunt honesta. 
plus tamen ad formandas mentes valent, quotiens 
pulchritudinem rerum claritas orationis illuminat. 
Quare, etiamsi in utramque partem valent arma 
facundiae, non est tamen aequum id haberi malum, 
quo bene uti licet. 

1 1 Verum haec apud eos forsitan quaerantur, qui 
summam rhetorices ad persuadendi vim rettulerunt. 
Si vero est bene dicendi scientia, quern nos finem 
sequimur, ut sit orator in primis vir bonus, utilem 

12 certe esse earn confitendum est. Et hercule deus 
ille princeps, parens rerum fabricatorque mundi, 
nullo magis hominem separavit a ceteris, quae 
quidem mortalia essent, animalibus, quam dicendi 

13 facultate. Nam corpora quidem magnitudine, viri- 
bus, firmitate, patientia, velocitate praestantiora in 
illis mutis videmus, eadem minus egere acquisitae 
extrinsecus opis. Xam et ingredi citius et pasci et 
tranare aquas citra docentem natura ipsa sciunt. Et 

14 pleraque contra frigus ex suo corpore vestiuntur, et 
arma iis ingenita quaedam et ex obvio fere victus, 
circa quae omnia multus hominibus labor est. Ra- 
tionem igitur nobis praecipuam dedit eiusque nos 

15 socios esse cum dis immortalibus voluit. Sed ipsa 
ratio neque tarn nos iuvaret neque tarn esset in nobis 
manifesta, nisi, quae concepissemus mente, promere 
etiam loquendo possemus, quod magis deesse ceteris 


BOOK II. xvi. 9-15 

would the great legislators have constrained man- 
kind to submit themselves to the yoke of law. Nay, 10 
even the principles which should guide our life, 
however fair they may be by nature, yet have greater 
power to mould the mind to virtue, when the beauty 
of things is illumined by the splendour of eloquence. 
Wherefore, although the weapons of oratory may 
be used either for good or ill, it is unfair to regard 
that as an evil which can be employed for good. 

These problems, however, may be left to those 11 
who hold that rhetoric is the power to persuade. If 
our definition of rhetoric as the science of speaking 
well implies that an orator must be a good man, 
there can be no doubt about its usefulness. And 12 
in truth that god, who was in the beginning, the 
father of all things and the architect of the universe, 
distinguished man from all other living creatures 
that are subject to death, by nothing more than 
this, that he gave him the gift of speech. For as 13 
regards physical bulk, strength, robustness, endur- 
ance or speed, man is surpassed in certain cases by 
dumb beasts, who also are far more independent of 
external assistance. They know by instinct without 
need of any teacher how to move rapidly, to feed 
themselves and swim. Many too have their bodies 14 
clothed against cold, possess natural weapons and 
have not to search for their food, whereas in all 
these respects man's life is full of toil. Reason 
then was the greatest gift of the Almighty, who 
willed that we should share its possession with the 
immortal gods. But reason by itself would help us 15 
but little and would be far less evident in us, had 
we not the power to express our thoughts in speech ; 
for it is the lack of this power rather than thought 

3 2 3 


animalibus quam intellectum et cogitationem quan- 

16 dam vidernus. Nam et mollire cubilia et nidos 
texere et educare fetus et excludere, quin etiam 
reponere in hiemem alimenta, opera quaedam nobis 
inimitabilia (qualia sunt cerarum ac mellis) efficere, 
nonnullius forlasse rationis est ; sed quia carent 
sermone, quae id faciunt, muta atque irrationalia 

17 vocantur. Denique homines, quibus negata vox est, 
quantulum adiuvat animus ille caelestis ? Quare si 
nihil a dis oratione melius accepimus, quid tarn 
dignum cultu ac labore ducamus, aut in quo malimus 
praestare hominibus, quam quo ipsi homines ceteris 

18 animalibus praestant, eo quidem magis, quod nulla 
in arte plenius labor gratiam refert ? Id adeo mani- 
festum erit, si cogitaverimus, unde et quo usque iam 
provecta sit orandi facultas ; et adhuc augeri potest. 

19 Nam ut omittam, defendere amicos, regere consiliis 
senatum, populum, exercitum in quae velit ducere, 
quam sit utile conveniatque bono viro, nonne pul- 
chrum vel hoc ipsum est, ex communi intellectu 
verbisque, quibus utuntur omnes, tantum adsequi 
laudis et gloriae, ut non loqui et orare sed, quod 
Pericli contigit, fulgurare ac tonare videaris ? 

XVII. Finis non erit, si exspatiari in parte hac et 

1 cp. Aristoph. Ach. 530 : " Then in his wrath Pericles 
the Olympian lightened and thundered and threw all Greece 
into confusion." 

BOOK II. xvi. 15-xvii. i 

and understanding which they do to a certain ex- 
tent possess, that is the great defect in other living 
things. The construction of a soft lair, the weaving 16 
of nests, the hatching and rearing of their young, and 
even the storing up of food for the coming winter, 
together with certain other achievements which we 
cannot imitate, such as the making of honey and 
wax, all these perhaps indicate the possession of a 
certain degree of reason ; but since the creatures that 
do these things lack the gift of speech they are called 
dumb and unreasoning beasts. Finally, how little 17 
the heavenly boon of reason avails those who are 
born dumb. If therefore we have received no fairer 
gift from heaven than speech, what shall w r e regard 
as so worthy of laborious cultivation, or in what 
should we sooner desire to excel our fellow r -men, 
than that in which mankind excels all other living 
things? And we should be all the more eager to do 18 
so, since there is no art which yields a more grateful 
recompense for the labour bestowed upon it. This 
will be abundantly clear if we consider the origins 
of oratory and the progress it has made ; and it is 
capable of advancing still further. I will not stop 19 
to point out how useful and how becoming a task it is 
for a good man to defend his friends, to guide the 
senate by his counsels, and to lead peoples or armies 
to follow his bidding ; I merely ask, is it not a 
noble thing, by employing the understanding which 
is common to mankind and the words that are used 
by all, to win such honour and glory that you seem 
not to speak or plead, but rather, as was said of 
Pericles, to thunder and lighten ? l 

XVII. However, if I were to indulge my own in- 
clinations in expatiating on this subject, 1 should go 



indulgere voluptati velim. Transeamus igitur ad 
earn quaestionem, quae sequitur, an rhetorice ars 

2 sit. Quod quidem adeo ex iis, qui praecepta dicendi 
tradiderunt, nemo dubitavit, ut etiam ipsis librorum 
titulis testatum sit, scriptos eos de arte rhetorica; 
Cicero vero earn, quae rhetorice vocetur, esse 
artificiosam eloquentiam dicat. Quod non oratores 
tantum vindicarunt, ut studiis aliquid suis praesti- 
tisse videantur, sed cum iis philosophi et Stoici et 

3 Peripatetici plerique consentiunt. Ac me dubitasse 
confiteor, an hanc partem quaestionis tractandam 
putarem ; nam quis est adeo non ab eruditione modo 
sed a sensu remotus hominis, ut fabricandi quidem 
et texendi et e luto vasa ducendi artem putet, rhe- 
toricen autem, maximum ac pulcherrimum, ut supra 
diximus, opus, in tarn sublime fastigium existimet 

4 sine arte venisse ? Equidem illos, qui contra dis- 
putaverunt, non tarn id sensisse quod dicerent, quam 
exercere ingenia materiae difficultate credo voluisse, 
sicut Polycraten, cum Busirim laudaret et Clytaem- 
nestram ; quanquam is, quod his dissimile non est, 
composuisse orationem, quae est habita contra 
Socraten, dicitur. 

5 Quidam natural em esse rhetoricen volunt et tamen 
adiuvari exercitatione non diffitentur, ut in libris 
Ciceronis de Oratore dicit Antonius, observationem 

6 quandam esse non artem. Quod non ideo, ut pro 
vero accipiamus, est positum, sed ut Aiitoni persona 

1 de Inv. i. v. 6. The titles in question are such as Ars 
rhetorica, Ars Hermagorae, etc. 


BOOK II. xvn. 1-6 

on for ever. Let us therefore pass to the next 
question and consider whether rhetoric is an art. 
No one of those who have laid down rules for 2 
oratory has ever doubted that it is an art. It is clear 
even from the titles of their books that their theme 
is the art of rhetoric, while Cicero 1 defines rhetoric 
as artistic eloquence. And it is not merely the orators 
who have claimed this distinction for their studies 
with a view to giving them an additional title to 
respect, but the Stoic and Peripatetic philosophers for 
the most part agree with them. Indeed I will confess 3 
that I had doubts as to whether I should discuss this 
portion of my inquiry, for there is no one, I will not 
say so unlearned, but so devoid of ordinary sense, as 
to hold that building, weaving; or moulding vessels 

O- 7 O O 

from clay are arts, and at the same time to consider 
that rhetoric, which, as I have already said, is the 
noblest and most sublime of tasks, has reached such 
a lofty eminence without the assistance of art. For 4 
my own part I think that those who have argued 
against this view did not realise what they were 
saying, but merely desired to exercise their wits by 
the selection of a difficult theme, like Poly crates, 
when he praised Busiris and Clytemnestra ; I may 
add that he is credited with a not dissimilar per- 
formance, namely the composition of a speech which 
was delivered against Socrates. 

Some w r ould have it that rhetoric is a natural gift 5 
though they admit that it can be developed by practice. 
So Antonius in the de Oraiore 2 of Cicero styles it a knack 
derived from experience, but denies that it is an art : 
this statement is however not intended to be accepted 6 
by us as the actual truth, but is inserted to make 

2 ii. Ivii. 232. 

3 2 7 


servetur, qui dissimulator artis fuit. Hanc autem 
opinionem habuisse Lysias videtur. Cuius sententiae 
talis defensio est, quod indocti et barbari et servi, 
pro se cum loquuntur, aliquid dicant simile principle, 
narrent, probent, refutent, et (quod vim habeat 

7 epilogi) deprecentur. Deinde adiiciunt illas ver- 
borum cavillationes, nihil, quod ex arte fiat, ante 
artem fuisse ; atqui dixisse homines pro se et in alios 
semper, doctores artis sero et circa Tisian et Coraca 
primum repertos, orationem igitur ante artem fuisse 

8 eoque artem non esse. Nos porro, quando coeperit 
huius rei doctrina, non laboramus exquirere, quan- 
quam apud Homerum et praeceptorem Phoenicem 
cum agendi turn etiam loquendi et oratores plures et 
omne in tribus ducibus orationis genus et certamina 
quoque proposita eloquentiae inter iuvenes invenimus, 
quin in caelatura clipei Achillis et lites sunt et 

9 actores. Illud enim admonere satis est, omnia, quae 
ars consummaverit, a natura initia duxisse. Aut 
tollatur medicina, quae ex observatione salubrium 
atque iis contrariorum reperta est, et, ut quibusdam 
placet, tota constat experimentis ; nam et vulnus 
deligavit aliquis, antequam haec ars esset, et febrem 
quiete et abstinentia, non quia rationem videbat, sed 

1 77. ix. 432. 

3 i.e. the copious style by Xestor, the plain by Menelaua, 
the intermediate by Ulysses. 

1 II. xv. 284. '7J. xviii. 497 sqq. 


BOOK II. xvn. 6-9 

Antonius speak in character, since he was in the 
habit of concealing his art. Still Lysias is said to 
have maintained this same view, which is defended 
on the ground that uneducated persons, barbarians 
and slaves, when speaking on their own behalf, say 
something that resembles an exordium, state the facts 
of the case, prove, refute and plead for mercy just as 
an orator does in his peroration. To this is added 7 
the quibble that nothing that is based on art can 
have existed before the art in question, whereas men 
have always from time immemorial spoken in their 
own defence or in denunciation of others : the 
teaching of rhetoric as an art was, they say, a later 
invention dating from about the time of Tisias and 
Corax : oratory therefore existed before art and 
consequently cannot be an art. For my part I am not 8 
concerned with the date when oratory began to be 
taught. Even in Homer we find Phoenix l as an 
instructor not only of conduct but of speaking, while 
a number of orators are mentioned, the various styles 
are represented by the speeches of three of the 
chiefs 2 and the young men are set to contend among 
themselves in contests of eloquence : 3 moreover law- 
suits and pleaders are represented in the engravings 
on the shield of Achilles. 4 It is sufficient to call 9 
attention to the fact that everything which art has 
brought to perfection originated in nature. Other- 
wise we might deny the title of art to medicine, 
which was discovered from the observation of 
sickness and health, and according to some is 
entirely based upon experiment : wounds were bound 
up long before medicine developed into an art, and 
fevers were reduced by rest and abstention from food, 
long before the reason for such treatment was 

3 2 9 


10 quia id valetudo ipsa cogebat, mitigavit. Nee fabrica 
sit ars ; casas eiiim priini illi sine arte fecerunt ; nee 
musica ; caritatur ac saltatur per omnes gentes aliquo 
modo. Ita si rhetoriee vocari debet sermo quicun- 

11 que, fuisse earn, antequam esset ars, confitebor ; si 
vero iion quisquis loquitur, orator est, et turn non 
tanquam oratores loquebantur, necesse est, oratorem 
factum arte nee ante artem fuisse fateantur. Quo 
illud quoque excluditur, quod dicunt, non esse artis 
id, quod faeiat qui non didicerit, dicere autem 

12 homines et qui non didicerint. Ad cuius rei con- 
firmationem adferunt, Demaden remigem, et Aesclii- 
nen hypocriten oratores fuisse. Falso ; nam neque 
orator esse, qui non didicit, potest, et hos sero potius 
quam nunquam didicisse quis dixerit, quanquam 
Aeschines ab initio sit versatus in litteris, quas pater 
eius etiam docebat, Demaden neque non didicisse 
certum sit, et continua dicendi exercitatio potuerit 
tantum, quantuscunque postea fuit, fecisse ; nam id 

13 potentissimum discendi genus est. Sed et praestan- 
tiorem, si didicisset, futurum fuisse dicere licet ; 
neque enim orationes scribere est ausus, ut eum 

14 multum valuisse in dicendo sciamus. Aristoteles, 
ut solet, quaerendi gratia quaedam subtilitatis suae 

1 A lost treatise, named after Gryllus, the son of 


BOOK II. xvii. 9-14 

known, simply because the state of the patient's 
health left no choice. So too building should not be 10 
styled an art ; for primitive man built himself a hut 
without the assistance of art. Music by the same 
reasoning is not an art ; for every race indulges in 
some kind of singing and dancing. If therefore any 
kind of speech is to be called eloquence, I will admit 
that it existed before it was an art. If on the other 1 1 
hand not every man that speaks is an orator and 
primitive man did not speak like an orator, my 
opponents must needs acknowledge that oratory is 
the product of art and did not exist before it. This 
conclusion also rules out their argument that men 
speak who have never learnt how to speak, and that 
which a man does untaught can have no connexion 
with art. In support of this contention they adduce 12 
the fact that Demades was a waterman and Aeschines 
an actor, but both were orators. Their reasoning is 
false. For no man can be an orator untaught and it 
would be truer to say that these orators learned 
oratory late in life than that they never learned at all ; 
although as a matter of fact Aeschines had an 
acquaintance with literature from childhood since his 
father was a teacher of literature, while as regards 
Demades, it is quite uncertain that he never studied 
rhetoric and in any case continuous practice in 
speaking was sufficient to bring him to such profici- 
ency as he attained : for experience is the best of all 
schools. On the other hand it may fairly be asserted 13 
that he would have achieved greater distinction, if he 
had received instruction : for although he delivered 
his speeches with great effect, he never ventured to 
write them for others. Aristotle, it is true, in his 14 
Gryttus l produces some tentative arguments to 

33 1 


argumenta excogitavit in Gryllo ; sed idem et de 
arte rhetorica tris libros scripsit, et in eorum primo 
non artem solum earn fatetur, sed ei particulam 

15 civilitatis sicut dialectices adsignat. Multa Critolaus 
contra, multa Rhodius Athenodorus. Agnon quidem 
detraxit sibi inscriptione ipsa fidem, qua rhetorices 
accusationem professus est. Nam de Epicuro, qui 
disciplinas omnes fugit, nihil miror. 

16 Hi complura dicunt sed ex paucis loois ducta ; 
itaque potentissimis eorum breviter occurram, ne in 

17 infinitum quaestio evadat. Prima iis argumentatio 
ex materia est. Omnes enim artes aiunt habere 
materiarn, quod est verum ; rhetorices nullam esse 
propriam, quod esse falsum in sequentibus probabo. 

18 Altera est calumnia nullam artem falsis assentiri 
opinionibus, quia constitui sine perceptione non 
possit, quae semper vera sit ; rhetoricen assentiri falsis, 

19 non esse igitur artem. Ego rhetoricen nonnunquam 
dicere falsa pro veris confitebor, sed non ideo in falsa 
quoque esse opinione concedam, quia longe diversum 
est, ipsi quid videri et, ut alii videatur, efficere. 
Nam et imperator falsis utitur saepe, ut Hannibal, 
cum inclusus a Fabio, sarmentis circum cornua bourn 
33 2 

BOOK II. xvn. 14-19 

the contrary, which are marked by characteristic 
ingenuity. On the other hand he also wrote three 
books on the art of rhetoric, in the first of which 
he not merely admits that rhetoric is an art, but 
treats it as a department of politics and also of 
logic. Critolaus and Athenodorus of Rhodes have 15 


produced many arguments against this view, while 
Agnon renders himself suspect by the very title of 
his book in which he proclaims that he is going to 
indict rhetoric. As to the statements of Epicurus 
on this subject, they cause me no surprise, for he is 
the foe of all systematic training. 

These gentlemen talk a great deal, but the 16 
arguments on which they base their statements are 
few. I will therefore select the most important of 
them and will deal with them briefly, to prevent the 
discussion lasting to all eternity. Their first con- 17 
tention is based on the subject-matter; for they 
assert that all arts have their own subject-matter 
(which is true) and go on to say that rhetoric has 
none, which I shall show in what follows to be false. 
Another slander is to the effect that no art will IS 
acquiesce in false opinions : since an art must be 
based on direct perception, which is always true: 
now, say they, rhetoric does give its assent to false 
conclusions and is therefore not an art. I will admit 19 
that rhetoric sometimes substitutes falsehood for 
truth, but I will not allow that it does so because its 
opinions are false, since there is all the difference 
between holding a certain opinion oneself and 
persuading someone else to adopt an opinion. For 
instance a general frequently makes use of false- 
hood : Hannibal when hemmed in by Fabius 
persuaded his enemy that he was in retreat by 



deligatis incensisque, per noctem in adversos rnontes 
agens armenta speciem hosti abeuntis exercitus dedit; 
sed ilium fefellit, ipse, quid verum esset, non igno- 

20 ravit. Nee vero Theopompus Lacedaemonius, cum 
permutato cum uxore habitu e custodia ut mulier 
evasit, falsam de se opinionem habuit, sed custodibus 
praebuit. Item orator,, cum falso utitur pro vero, 
scit esse falsum eoque se pro vero uti ; non ergo 

21 falsam habet ipse opinionem, sed fallit alium. Nee 
Cicero, cum se tenebras offudisse iudicibus in causa 
Cluenti gloriatus est, nihil ipse vidit. Et pictor, 
cum vi artis suae efficit, ut quaedam eminere in 
opere, quaedam recessisse credamus, ipse ea plana 

22 esse non nescit. Aiunt etiam omnes artes habere 
finem aliquem propositum, ad quern tendant ; hunc 
modo nullum esse in rhetorice. modo non praestari 
eum, qui promittatur. Mentiuntur ; nos enim esse 

23 finem iam ostendimus, et quis esset diximus. Et 
praestabit hunc semper orator, semper enim bene 
dicet. Firmum autem hoc, quod opponitur, adversus 
eos fortasse sit, qui persuadere finem putaverunt. 
Noster orator arsque a nobis finita non sunt posita in 
eventu. Tendit quidem ad victoriam qui dicit ; sed 
cum bene dixit, etiamsi non vincat, id quod arte con- 

24 tinetur eflfecit. Nam et gubernator vult salva nave 

1 See Livy, XXII. xvi 

2 Probably a king of Sparta, 770-7'20 B.C. 


BOOK II. xvn. 19-24 

tying brushwood to the horns of oxen, setting fire 
to them by night and driving the herds across 
the mountains opposite. 1 But though he deceived 
Fabius, he himself was fully aware of the truth. 

' > 

Again when the Spartan Theopompus changed '20 
clothes with his wife and escaped from custody 
disguised as a woman, he deceived his guards, 
but was not for a moment deceived as to his ow r n 
identity. 2 Similarly an orator, when he substitutes 
falsehood for the truth, is aware of the falsehood 
and of the fact that he is substituting it for the 


truth. He therefore deceives others, but not him- 
self. When Cicero boasted that he had thrown 21 
dust in the eyes of the jury in the case of 
Cluentius, he was far from being blinded himself. 
And when a painter by his artistic skill makes us 
believe that certain objects project from the picture, 
while others are withdrawn into the background, he 
knows perfectly well that they are really all in the 
same plane. My opponents further assert that every 22 
art has some definite goal towards which it directs its 
efforts, but that rhetoric as a rule has no such goal, 
while at other times it professes to have an aim, but 
fails to perform its promise. They lie : I have already 
shown that rhetoric has a definite purpose and have 
explained what it is. And, what is more, the orator 23 
will always make good his professions in this respect, 
for he will always speak well. On the other hand 
this criticism may perhaps hold good as against those 
who think persuasion the end of oratory. But our 
orator and his art, as we define it, are independent of 
results. The speaker aims at victory, it is true, but if 
he speaks well, he has lived up to the ideals of his art, 
even if he is defeated. Similarly a pilot will desire 24 



in portum pervenire ; si tamen tempestate fuerit 
abreptus, non ideo minus erit gubernator dicetque 

25 notum illud, Dum clavum rectum tencam. Et rnedicus 
sanitatem aegri petit ; si tamen aut valetudinis vi aut 
intemperantia aegri aliove quo casu summa non con- 
tingit, dum ipse omnia secundum rationem fecerit, 
medicinae fine non excidet. Ita oratori bene dixisse 
finis est. Nam est ars ea, ut post paulum clarius 

26 ostendemus, in actu posita non in efFectu. Ita falsum 
erit illud quoque, quod dicitur, artes scire quando 
sint finem consecutae, rhetoricen nescire. Nam se 
quisque bene dieere intelligit. Uti etiam vitiis rhe- 
toricen, quod ars nulla faciat, crirninantur, quia et 

27 falsum dicat et adfectus moveat. Quorum neutrum 
est turpe, cum ex bona ratione proficiscitur, ideoque 
nee vitium. Nam et mendacium dieere etiam 
sapienti aliquando concessum est, et adfectus, si aliter 
ad aequitatem perduci iudex non poterit, necessario 

28 movebit orator. Imperiti enim iudicant et qui fre- 
quenter in hoc ipsum fallendi sint, ne errent. Nam, 
si mihi sapientes indices dentur, sapientium contiones 
atque omne consilium, nihil invidia valeat, nihil 
gratia, nihil opinio praesumpta falsique testes : per- 
quam sit exiguus eloquentiae locus et prope in sola 

29 delectatione ponatur. Sin et audientium mobiles 

1 Ennius, Ann. 483 (Vahlen). 

BOOK II. xvn. 24-29 

to bring his ship safe to harbour; but if he is swept 
out of his course by a storm, he will not for that 
reason cease to be a pilot, but will say in the well- 
known words of the old poet l " Still let me steer 
straight on ! " So too the doctor seeks to heal the 25 
sick ; but if the violence of the disease or the refusal 
of the patient to obey his regimen or any other 
circumstance prevent his achieving his purpose, he 
will not have fallen short of the ideals of his art, 
provided he has done everything according to reason. 
So too the orator's purpose is fulfilled if he has spoken 
well. For the art of rhetoric, as I shall show later, 
is realised in action, not in the result obtained. From 26 
this it follows that there is no truth in yet another 
argument which contends that arts know when they 
have attained their end, whereas rhetoric does not. 
For every speaker is aware when he is speaking well. 
These critics also charge rhetoric with doing what 
no art does, namely making use of vices to serve its 
ends, since it speaks the thing that is not and excites 
the passions. But there is no disgrace in doing 27 
either of these things, as long as the motive be good : 
consequently there is nothing vicious in such action. 
Even a philosopher is at times permitted to tell a lie, 
while the orator must needs excite the passions, if 
that be the only way by which he can lead the 
judge to do justice. For judges are not always 2S 
enlightened and often have to be tricked to prevent 
them falling into error. Give me philosophers as 
judges, pack senates and assemblies with philosophers, 
and you will destroy the power of hatred, influence, 
prejudice and false witness ; consequently there will 
be very little scope for eloquence whose value will 
lie almost entirely in its power to charm. But if, as is 29 



animi et tot nialis obnoxia veritas, arte pugnandura 
est et adhibenda quae prosunt. Neque enim, qui 
recta via depulsus est, reduci ad earn nisi alio flexu 

;40 Plurima vero ex eo contra rhetoricen cavillatio est, 
quod ex utraque causae parte dicatur. Inde haec : 
nullam esse arteni contrariam sibi, rhetoricen esse 
contrariam sibi ; nullam artem destruere quod effe- 
cerit, accidere hoc rhetorices open ; item aut dicenda 
earn docere aut non dicenda ; ita vel per hoc non 
esse artem, quod non dicenda praecipiat, vel per hoc, 
quod, cum dicenda praeceperit, etiam contraria his 

31 doceat. Quae omnia apparet de ea rhetorice dici, 
quae sit a bono viro atque ab ipsa virtute seiuncta ; 
alioqui ubi iniusta causa est, ibi rhetorice non est, 
adeo ut vix admirabili quodam casu possit accidere, 
ut ex utraque parte orator, id est vir bonus, dicat. 

32 Tamen quoniam hoc quoque in rerum naturam cadit, 
ut duos sapientes aliquando iustae causae in diversum 
trahant, (quando etiam pugnaturos eos inter se, si 
ratio ita duxerit, credunt) respondebo propositis, 
atque ita quidem, ut appareat, haec adversus eos 
quoque frustra excogitata, qui malis moribus nomen 

33 oratoris indulgent. Nam rhetorice non est contraria 


BOOK II. xvn. 29-33 

the case, our hearers are fickle of mind, and truth is 
exposed to a host of perils, we must call in art to aid 
us in the fight and employ such means as will help 
our case. He who has been driven from the right road 
cannot be brought back to it save by a fresh detour. 

The point, however, that gives rise to the greatest 30 
number of these captious accusations against rhetoric, 
is found in the allegation that orators speak in- 
differently on either side of a case. From which they 
draw the following arguments : no art is self-contra- 
dictory, but rhetoric does contradict itself; no art 
tries to demolish what itself has built, but this does 
happen in the operations of rhetoric ; or again :- 
rhetoric teaches either what ought to be said or what 
ought not to be said ; consequently it is not an art 
because it teaches what ought not to be said, or 
because, while it teaches what ought to be said, it 
also teaches precisely the opposite. Now it is obvious 3 1 
that all such charges are brought against that type 
of rhetoric with which neither good men nor virtue 
herself will have anything to do ; since if a case be 
based on injustice, rhetoric has no place therein and 
consequently it can scarcely happen even under the 
most exceptional circumstances that an orator, that 
is to say, a good man, will speak indifferently on either 
side. Still it is in the nature of things conceivable 32 
that just causes may lead two wise men to take 
different sides, since it is held that wise men may fight 
among themselves, provided that they do so at the 
bidding of reason. I will therefore reply to their 
criticisms in such a way that it will be clear that these 
arguments have no force even against those who con- 
cede the name of orator to persons of bad character. 
For rhetoric is not self-contradictory. The conflict is 33 



sibi. Causa enim cum causa, non ilia secum ipsa 
componitur. Nee, si pugnent inter se, qui idem 
didicerunt, idcirco ars, quae utrique tradita est, non 
erit ; alioqui nee armorum, quia saepe gladiatores sub 

34 eodem magistro eruditi inter se componuntur ; nee 
gubernandi, quia navalibus proeliis gubernator est 
gubernatori adversus ; nee imperatoria, quia impera- 
tor cum imperatore contendit. Item non evertit 
opus rhetorice, quod efficit. Neque enim positum 
a se argumentum solvit orator sed ne rhetorice 
quidem, quia apud eos, qui in persuadendo finem 
putant, aut si quis (ut dixi) casus duos inter se bonos 
viros composuerit, verisimilia quaerentur ; non autem, 
si quid est altero credibilius, id ei contrarium est, 

35 quod fuit credibile. Nam ut candido candidius et 
dulci dulcius non est adversum, ita nee probabili 
probabilius. Neque praecipit unquam non dicenda 
nee dicendis contraria, sed quae in quaque causa 

36 dicejida sunt. Non semper autem ei, etiamsi fre- 
quentissime, tuenda veritas erit ; sed aliquando exigit 
communis utilitas, ut etiam falsa defendat. 

Ponuntur hae quoque in secundo Ciceronis de 
Oratore libro contradictiones : artem earum rerum 
esse,quae sciantur ; oratoris omnem actionem opinione, 
non scientia contineri, quia et apud eos dicat, qui 

1 ii. vii. 30. 

BOOK II. xvn. 33-36 

between case and case, not between rhetoric and 
itself. And even if persons who have learned the 
same thing fight one another, that does not prove 
that what they have learned is not an art. Were 
that so, there could be no art of arms, since gladiators 
trained under the same master are often matched 
against each other ; nor would the pilot's art exist, 34 
because in sea-fights pilots may be found 011 different 
sides; nor yet could there be an art of generalship, 
since general is pitted against general. In the same 
way rhetoric does not undo its own work. For the 
orator does not refute his own arguments, nor does 
rhetoric even do so, because those who regard persua- 
sion as its end, or the two good men whom chance has 
matched against one another seek merely for proba- 
bilities : and the fact that one thing is more credible 
than another, does not involve contradiction between 
the two. There is no absolute antagonism between 35 
the probable and the more probable, just as there is 
none between that which is white and that which is 
whiter, or between that which is sweet and that 
which is sweeter. Nor does rhetoric ever teach that 
which ought not to be said, or that which is contrary 
to what ought to be said, but solely what ought to be 
said in each individual case. But though the orator 36 
will as a rule maintain what is true, this will not 
always be the case : there are occasions when the 
public interest demands that he should defend what 
is untrue. 

The following objections are also put forward in 
the second book of Cicero's de Oratore l : " Art deals 
with things that are known. But the pleading of an 
orator is based entirely on opinion, not on knowledge, 
because he speaks to an audience who do not know, 


37 nesciant, ct ipse dicat aliquando, quod nesciat. Ex 
his alterum, id est, an sciat index, de quo dicatur, 
nihil ad oratoris artein ; alteri respondendum, Ars 
ear um rerum est, quae sctuntur. Rhetorice ars est bene 

38 dicendi, bene autem dicere scit orator. Sed nescit, 
an verum sit quod dicit. Ne hi quidem, qui ignem 
aut aquain aut quattuor elenienta aut corpora inseca- 
bilia esse, ex quibus res omnes initium duxerint, 
tradunt, nee qui intervalla siderum et mensuras solis 
ac terrae colligunt ; disciplinam tamen suam arteni 
vocant. Quodsi ratio efficit, ut haec non opinari sed 
propter vim probationum scire videaiitur, eadein 

39 ratio idem praestare oratori potest. Sed an causa 
vera sit, nescit. Ne medicus quidem, an dolorern 
capitis habeat, qui hoc se pati dicet ; curabit tamen, 
tanquam id verum sit, et erit ars medicina. Quid 
quod rhetorice non utique propositum habet semper 
vera dicendi, sed semper verisimilia? scit autem esse 

40 verisimilia quae dicit. Adiiciunt his, qui contra sen- 
tiunt, quod saepe, quae in aliis litibus impugnarunt 
actores causarum, eadem in aliis defendant. Quod 
non artis sed hominis est vitium. Haec sunt praeci- 
pua, quae contra rhetoricen dicantur ; alia et minora 
et tamen ex his fontibus derivata. 


BOOK II. xvn. 36-40 

and sometimes himself states things of which he has 
no actual knowledge." Now one of these points, 3" 
namely whether the judges have knowledge of what 
is being said to them, has nothing to do with the art 
of oratory. The other statement, that art is concerned 
with things that are known, does however require an 
answer. Rhetoric is the art of speaking well and the 
orator knows how to speak well. " But," it is urged, 38 
" he does not know whether what he says is true.'' 
Neither do they, who assert that all things derive 
their origin from fire or water or the four elements 
or indivisible atoms ; nor they who calculate the 
distances of the stars or the size of the earth and sun. 
And yet all these call the subject which they teach 
an art. But if reason makes them seem not merely 
to hold opinions but, thanks to the cogency of the 
proofs adduced, to have actual knowledge, reason will 
do the same service to the orator. " But," they say, 39 
"he does not know whether the cause which he has 
undertaken is true." But not even a doctor can tell 
whether a patient who claims to be suffering from a 
headache, really is so suffering : but he will treat him 
on the assumption that his statement is true, and 
medicine will still be an art. Again what of the fact 
that rhetoric does not always aim at telling the truth, 
but always at stating what is probable ? The answer 
is that the orator knows that what he states is no 
more than probable. My opponents further object 40 
that advocates often defend in one case what they 
have attacked in another. This is not the fault of the 
art, but of the man. Such are the main points that 
are urged against rhetoric ; there are others as well, 
but they are of minor importance and drawn from the 
same sources. 



41 Confirmatur autem esse artem earn breviter. Nam 
sive, lit Clcanthes voluit, ars est potestas via, id est 
ordine, efficiens, esse certe viam atque ordinem in 
bene dicendo nemo dubitaverit ; sive ille ab omnibus 
fere probatus finis observatur, artem constare ex per- 
ceptionibus consentientibus et coexercitatis ad finem 
utilem vitae, iam ostendemus nihil non horum in 

42 rhetorice inesse. Quid quod et inspectione et exer- 
citatione ut artes ceterae constat ? Nee potest ars 
non esse, si est ars dialectice, quod fere constat, cum 
ab ea specie magis quam genere differat. Sed nee 
ilia omittenda sunt, qua in re alius se inartificialiter 
alius artificialiter gerat, in ea esse artem, et in eo 
quod, qui didicerit, melius faciat quam qui non didi- 

13 cerit, esse artem. Atqui non solum doctusindoctum, 
sed etiam doctior doctum in rhetorices opere supera- 
bit, neque essent aliter eius tarn multa praecepta 
tamque magni, qui docerent ; idque cum omnibus 
confitendum est, turn nobis praecipue, qui rationem 
dicendi a bono viro non separamus. 

XVIII. Cum sint autem artium aliae positae in 
inspectione, id est cognitione et aestimatione rerum, 

1 Fr. 790. a i.e. since our ideals are so high. 

BOOK II. xvn. 41-xvin. i 

That rhetoric is an art may, however, be proved in 41 
a very few words. For if Cleanthes' l definition be 
accepted that "Art is a power reaching its ends by a 
definite path, that is, by ordered methods," no one 
can doubt that there is such method and order in 
good speaking : while if, on the other hand, we accept 
the definition which meets with almost universal 
approval that art consists in perceptions agreeing 
and cooperating to the achievement of some useful 
end, we shall be able to show that rhetoric lacks none 
of these characteristics. Again it is scarcely necessary 42 
for me to point out that like other arts it is based on 
examination and practice. And if logic is an art, as 
is generally agreed, rhetoric must also be an art, since 
it differs from logic in species rather than in genus. 
Nor must I omit to point out that where it is possible 
in any given subject for one man to act without art 
and another with art, there must necessarily be an 
art in connexion with that subject, as there must also 
be in any subject in which the man who has received 
instruction is the superior of him who has not. But 43 
as regards the practice of rhetoric, it is not merely 
the case that the trained speaker will get the better 
of the untrained. For even the trained man will 
prove inferior to one who has received a better 
training. If this were not so, there would not be so 
many rhetorical rules, nor would so many great men 
have come forward to teach them. The truth of this 
must be acknowledged by everyone, but more 
especially by us, since we concede the possession of 
oratory to none save the good man. 2 

XVIII. Some arts, however, are based on examina- 
tion, that is to say on the knowledge and proper 
appreciation of things, as for instance astronomy, 



qualis est astrologia, nullum exigens actum sed ipso 
rei, cuius studium habet, intellectu contenta, quae 
#cop7?TiKr) vocatur ; aliae in agendo, quarum in hoc 
finis est et ipso actu perficitur nihilque post actum 
operis relinquit, quae 7rpa/m/o/ dicitur, qualis saltatio 

2 est; aliae in effectu, quae operis, quod oculis subiicitur, 
consummatione finem accipiunt, quam Trot^rtKr/v appel- 
lamus, qualis est pictura : fere iudicandum est, rheto- 
ricen in actu consistere ; hoc enim, quod est ofiicii sui, 

3 perficit. Atque ita ab omnibus dictum est. Mihi 
autem videtur etiarn ex illis ceteris artibus multum 
assumere. Nam et potest aliquando ipsa res per se 
inspectione esse contenta. Erit enim rhetorice in 
oratore etiam tacente, et si desierit agere vel pro- 
posito vel aliquo casu impeditus, non magis desinet 
esse orator quam medicus, qui curandi fecerit finem. 

4 Nam est aliquis, ac nescio an maximus, etiam ex 
secretis studiis fructus ac turn pura voluptas litterarum, 
cum ab actu, id est opera, recesserunt et contempla- 

5 tione sui fruuntur. Sed effectivae quoque aliquid 
simile scriptis orationibus vel historiis, quod ipsum 
opus in parte oratoria merito ponimus, consequetur. 
Si tamen una ex tribus artibus habenda sit, quia 
maxime eius usus actu continetur atque est in eo 


BOOK II. xvin. 1-5 

which demands no action, but is content to understand 
the subject of its study : sucli arts are called theoretical. 
Others again are concerned with action : this is their 
end, which is realised in action, so that, the action 
once performed, nothing more remains to do : these 
arts we style practical, and dancing will provide us 
with an example. Thirdly there are others which 2 
consist in producing a certain result and achieve their 
purpose iri the completion of a visible task : such we 
style productive, and painting may be quoted as an 
illustration. In view of these facts we must come to 
the conclusion that, in the main, rhetoric is concerned 
with action ; for in action it accomplishes that which 
it is its duty to do. This view is universally accepted, 3 
although in my opinion rhetoric draws largely on the 
two other kinds of art. For it may on occasion be 
content with the mere examination of a thing. 
Rhetoric is still in the orator's possession even though 
he be silent, while if he gives up pleading either 
designedly or owing to circumstances over which he 
has no control, he does not therefore cease to be an 
orator, any more than a doctor ceases to be a doctor 
when he withdraws from practice. Perhaps the 4 
highest of all pleasures is that which we derive from 
private study, and the only circumstances under 
which the delights of literature are unalloyed are 
when it withdraws from action, that is to say from 
toil, and can enjoy the pleasure of self-contemplation. 
But in the results that the orator obtains by writing 5 
speeches or historical narratives, which we may reason- 
ably count as part of the task of oratory, we shall 
recognise features resembling those of a productive 
art. Still, if rhetoric is to be regarded as one of these 
three classes of art, since it is with action that its 



frequentissima, dicatur activa vel administrativa, nam 
et hoc eiusdem rei nomen est. 

XIX. Scio, quaeri etiam, naturane plus ad elo- 
quentiam conferat an doctrina. Quod ad propositum 
quidem operis nostri nihil pertinet (neque enim con- 
summatus orator nisi ex utroque fieri potest), pluri- 
mum tamen referre arbitror, quam esse in hoc loco 

2 quaestionem velimus. Nam si parti utrilibet omnino 
alteram detrahas, natura etiam sine doctrina multum 
valebit, doctrina nulla esse sine natura poterit. Sin 
ex pari coeant, in mediocribus quidem utrisque 
maius adhuc credam naturae esse momentum, con- 
summates autem plus doctrinae debere quam naturae 
putabo ; sicut terrae nullam fertilitatem habenti 
nihil optimus agricola profuerit, e terra uberi utile 
aliquid etiam nullo colente nascetur, at in solo 
fecundo plus cultor quam ipsa per se bonitas soli 

3 efficiet. Et, si Praxiteles signum aliquod ex molan 
lapide conatus esset exsculpere, Parium marmor 
mallem rude ; at si illud idem artifex expolisset, 
plus in manibus fuisset quam in marmore. Denique 
natura materia doctrinae est ; haec fingit, ilia fingi- 
tur. Nihil ars sine materia, materiae etiam sine arte 
pretium est, ars summa materia optima melior. 


BOOK II. xvin. 5 xix. 3 

practice is chiefly and most frequently concerned, let 
us call it an active or administrative art, the two 
terms being identical. 

XIX. I quite realise that there is a further ques- 
tion as to whether eloquence derives most from 
nature or from education. This question really lies 
outside the scope of our inquiry, since the ideal 
orator must necessarily be the result of a blend of 
both. But 1 do regard it as of great importance 
that we should decide how far there is any real 
question on this point. For if we make an absolute 2 
divorce between the two, nature will still be able to 
accomplish much without the aid of education, 
while the latter is valueless without the aid of 
nature. If, on the other hand, they are blended in 
equal proportions, I think we shall find that the 
average .orator owes most to nature, while the per- 
fect orator owes more to education. We may take 
a parallel from agriculture. A thoroughly barren 
soil will not be improved even by the best cultivation, 
while good land will yield some useful produce 
without any cultivation ; but in the case of really 
rich land cultivation will do more for it than its own 
natural fertility. Had Praxiteles attempted to carve 3 
a statue out of a millstone, I should have preferred 
a rough block of Parian marble to any such statue. 
On the other hand, if the same artist had produced 
a finished statue from such a block of Parian marble, 
its artistic value would owe more to his skill than 
to the material. To conclude, nature is the raw 
material for education : the one forms, the other is 
formed. Without material art can do nothing, 
material without art does possess a certain value, 
while the perfection of art is better than the best 




XX. Jlla quaestio est maior, ex mediis artibus, 
quae neque laudari per se nee vituperari possunt, sed 
utiles aut secus secundum mores utentium fiunt, 
habenda sit rhetorice, an sit, ut compluribus etiam 

2 philosophorum placet, virtus. Equideru illud, quod 
in studiis dicendi plerique exercuerunt et exercent, 
aut nullam artem, quae dre^vta nominatur, puto, 
(multos enim video sine ratione, sine litteris, qua vel 
impudentia vel fames duxit, ruentes) aut malam 
quasi artem, quam KCLKOT^VLOLV dicimus. Nam et 
fuisse multos et esse nonnullos existimo, qui facul- 
tatem dicendi ad hominum perniciem converterint. 

3 MaratoTe^vm quoque est quaedam, id est supervacua 
artis imitatio, quae nihil sane neque boni neque mali 
habeat, sed vanum laborem, qualis illius fuit, qui 
grana ciceris ex spatio distanti missa in acum con- 
tinuo et sine frustratione inserebat, quern cum spec- 
tasset Alexander, donasse dicitur eiusdem leguminis 
modio, quod quidem praemium fuit illo opere dig- 

4 nissimum. His ego comparandos existimo, qui in 
declamationibus, quas esse veritati dissimillimas 
volunt, aetatem multo studio ac labore consumunt. 
Verum haec, quam instituere conamur et cuius 
imaginem animo concepimus, quae bono viro con- 

6 venit quaeque est vere rhetorice, virtus erit. Quod 


BOOK II. xx. 1-5 

XX. More important is the question whether rhe- 
toric is to be regarded as one of the indifferent arts, 
which in themselves deserve neither praise nor blame, 
but are useful or the reverse according to the charac- 
ter of the artist ; or whether it should, as not a few 
even among philosophers hold, be considered as a 
virtue. For my own part I regard the practice of rhe- 2 
toric which so many have adopted in the past and still 
follow to-day, as either no art at all, or, as the Greeks 
call it, ar^via (for I see numbers of speakers with- 
out the least pretension to method or literary train- 
ing rushing headlong in the direction in which 
hunger or their natural shamelessness calls them) ; 
or else it is a bad art such as is styled KaKore^rta. 
For there have, I think, been many persons and 
there are still some who have devoted their powers 
of speaking to the destruction of their fellow-men. 
There is also an unprofitable imitation of art, a kind 3 
of /iaTcuoTx l '** which is neither good nor bad, but 
merely involves a useless expenditure of labour, re- 
minding one of the man who shot a continuous 
stream of vetch-seeds from a distance through the 
eye of a needle, without ever missing his aim, and 
was rewarded by Alexander, who was a witness of 
the display, with the present of a bushel of vetch- 
seeds, a most appropriate reward. It is to such men 4 
that I would compare those who spend their whole 
time at the expense of much study and energy in 
composing declamations, which they aim at making 
as unreal as possible. The rhetoric on the other 
hand, which I am endeavouring to establish and the 
ideal of which I have in my mind's eye, that rhetoric 
which befits a good man and is in a word the only 
true rhetoric, will be a virtue. Philosophers arrive 5 


philosophi quidem multis et acutis conclusionibus 
colligunt, mihi vero etiam planiore hac proprieque 
nostra probatione videtur esse perspicuum. 

Ab illis haec dicuntur. Si consonare sibi in faci- 
endis ac non faciendis virtus est, quae pars eius 
prudentia vocatur, eadem in dicendis ac non dicendis 

6 erit. Et si virtutes sunt, ad quas nobis etiam ante 
quam doceremur initia quaedam ac semina sunt 
concessa natura, lit ad iustitiani, cuius rusticis quo- 
que ac barbaris apparet aliqua imago, nos certe sic 
esse ab initio formates, ut possemus orare pro nobis, 
etiamsi non perfecte, tamen ut inessent quaedam (ut 

7 dixi) semina eius facultatis, manifestum est. Non 
eadem autem natura est iis artibus, quae a virtute 
sunt remotae. Itaque cum duo sint genera orationis, 
altera perpetua, quae rhetorice dicitur, altera con- 
cisa, quae dialectice (quas quidem Zeno adeo con- 
iunxit, ut hanc compressae in pugnum manus, illam 
explicatae diceret similem), etiam disputatrix virtus 
erit. Adeo de hac, quae speciosior atque apertior 
tanto est, nihil dubitabitur. 

8 Sed plenius hoc idem atque apertius intueri ex 
ipsis operibus volo. Nam quid orator in laudando 
faciet nisi honestorum et turpium peritus ? aut in 

35 2 

BOOK II. xx. 5-8 

at this conclusion by a long chain of ingenious 
arguments ; but it appears to me to be perfectly 
clear from the simpler proof of my own invention 
which I will now proceed to set forth. 

The philosophers state the case as follows. If 
self-consistency as to what should and should not 
be done is an element of virtue (and it is to this 
quality that we give the name of prudence), the 
same quality will be revealed as regards what should 
be said and what should not be said, and if there are 6 
virtues, of which nature has given us some rudimen- 
tary sparks, even before we were taught anything 
about them, as for instance justice, of which there are 
some traces even among peasants and barbarians, it 
is clear that man has been so formed from the 
beginning as to be able to plead on his own behalf, 
not, it is true, with perfection, but yet sufficiently to 
show that there are certain sparks of eloquence 
implanted in us by nature. The same nature, how- 7 
ever, is not to be found in those arts which have no 
connexion with virtue. Consequently, since there are 
two kinds of speech, the continuous which is called 
rhetoric, and the concise which is called dialectic (the 
relation between which was regarded by Zeno as being 
so intimate that he compared the latter to the closed 
fist, the former to the open hand), even the art of 
disputation will be a virtue. Consequently there can 
be no doubt about oratory whose nature is so much 
fairer and franker. 

I should like, however, to consider the point 8 
more fully and explicitly by appealing to the 
actual work of oratory. For how will the orator 
succeed in panegyric unless he can distinguish be- 
tween what is honourable and the reverse ? How 



suadendo nisi utilitate perspecta? aut in iudiciis, si 
iustitiae sit ignarus ? Quid ? non fortitudinem pos- 
tulat res eadem, cum saepe contra turbulentas populi 
minas, saepe cum periculosa potentium offensa, non- 
nunquam, ut iudicio Miloniano, inter circumfusa 
militum arma dicendum sit; ut, si virtus non est, ne 

9 perfecta quidem esse possit oratio. Quodsi ea in 
quoque animalium est virtus,, qua praestat cetera vel 
pleraque, ut in leoiie impetus, in equo velocitas, 
hominem porro ratione atque oratione excellere 
ceteris certum est : cur non tarn in eloquentia quam 
in ratione virtutem eius esse credamus, recteque hoc 
apud Ciceronem dixerit Crassus : Est enim eloquentia 
una quaedam de summis virtutibus, et ipse Cicero sua 
persona cum ad Brutum in epistulis, turn aliis etiam 

10 locis virtutem earn appellet ? At prooemium ali- 
quando ac narrationem dicet mains homo et argu- 
menta, sic ut nihil sit in iis requirendum. Nam et 
latro pugnabit acriter, virtus tamen erit fortitude ; 
et tormenta sine gemitu feret malus servus, tole- 
rantia tamen doloris laude sua non carebit. Multa 
fiunt eadem sed aliter. Sufficiant igitur haec, quia 
de utilitate supra tractavimus. 

1 de Or. in. xiv. 55. 2 Lost. 


BOOK II. xx. 8-10 

can he urge a policy, unless he has a clear percep- 
tion of what is expedient ? How can he plead in 
the law-courts, if he is ignorant of the nature of 
justice ? Again, does not oratory call for courage, 
since it is often directed against the threats of 
popular turbulence and frequently runs into peril 
through incurring the hatred of the great, while 
sometimes, as for instance in the trial of Milo, the 
orator may have to speak in the midst of a crowd of 
armed soldiers? Consequently, if oratory be not a 
virtue, perfection is beyond its grasp. If, on the 9 
other hand, each living thing has its own peculiar 
virtue, in which it excels the rest or, at any rate, the 
majority (I may instance the courage of the lion 
and the swiftness of the horse), it may be regarded 
as certain that the qualities in which man excels 
the rest are, above all, reason and powers of speech. 
Why, therefore, should w r e not consider that the 
special virtue of man lies just as much in elo- 
quence as in reason? It will be with justice then 
that Cicero 1 makes Crassus say that ' ' eloquence is 
one of the highest virtues," and that Cicero himself 
calls it a virtue in his letters to Brutus 2 and in 
other passages. "But," it maybe urged, " a bad 10 
man will at times produce an exordium or a statement 
of facts, and will argue a case in a manner that 
leaves nothing to be desired." No doubt ; even a 
robber may fight bravely without courage ceasing to 
be a virtue ; even a wicked slave may bear torture 
without a groan, and we may still continue to regard 
endurance of pain as worthy of praise. We can 
point to many acts which are identical with those of 
virtue, but spring from other sources. However, 
what I have said here must suffice, as I have already 
dealt with the question of the usefulness of oratory. 



XXI. Materiam rhetorices quidam dixerunt esse 
orationem, qua in sententia ponitur apud Platonem 
Gorgias. Quae si ita accipitur, ut sermo quacunque 
de re compositus dicatur oratio, non materia sed opus 
est,. ut statuarii statua ; nam et oratio efficitur arte 
sicut statua. Sin hac appellatione verba ipsa signi- 
ficari putamus, nihil haec sine rerum substantia 

2 faeiunt. Quidam argumenta persuasibilia ; quae et 
ipsa in parte sunt operis et arte fiunt et materia 
egent. Quidam civiles quaestiones ; quorum opinio 
non qualitate sed modo erravit, est enim haec materia 

3 rhetorices sed non sola. Quidam, quia virtus sit 
rhetorice, materiam eius totam vitam vocant. Alii, 
quia non omnium virtutum materia sit tota vita, sed 
pleraeque earurn versentur in partibus, sicut iustitia, 
fortitude, continentia propriis officiis et suo fine in- 
telliguntur, rlietoricen quoque dicunt in una aliqua 
parte ponendam, eique locum in ethice negotialem 
adsignant id est Trpay/iarueov. 

4 Ego (neque id sine auctoribus) materiam esse 
rhetorices iudico omnes res quaecunque ei ad dicen- 
dum subiectae erunt. Xam Socrates apud Platonem 
dicere Gorgiae videtur, non in verbis esse materiam 

1 Garg. 449 E. 2 Gorg. 449 E. 


BOOK II. xxi. 1-4 

XXI. As to the material of oratory, some have 


asserted that it is speech, as for instance Gorgias 1 in 
the dialogue of Plato. If this view be accepted in 
the sense that the word " speech ' is'usedof a dis- 
course composed on any subject, then it is not the 
material, but the work, just as a statue is the work 
of the sculptor. For speeches like statues require 
art for their production. If on the other hand 
we interpret " speech ' as indicating the words 
themselves, they can do nothing unless they are 
related to facts. Some again hold that the material 
consists of persuasive arguments. But they form 
part of the work, are produced by art and require 
material themselves. Some say that political 2 
questions provide the material. The mistake made 
by these lies not in the quality of their opinion 
but in its limitation. For political questions are 
material for eloquence but not the only material. 
Some, on the ground that rhetoric is a virtue, make the 3 
material with which it deals to be the whole of life. 
Others, on the ground that life regarded as a whole 
does not provide material for every virtue, since 
most of them are concerned only with departments 
of life (justice, courage and self-control each having 
their own duties and their own end), would conse- 
quently restrict oratory to one particular department 
of life and place it in the practical or pragmatic 
department of ethics, that is to say the department 
of morals which deals with the business of life. 

For my own part, and I have authority to support 4 
me, I hold that the material of rhetoric is composed of 
everything that may be placed before it as a subject 
for speech. Plato, if I read him aright, makes 
Socrates 2 say to Gorgias that its material is to be 



sed in rebus. Et in Phaedro palam, non in iudiciis 
modo et contionibus, sed in rebus etiam privatis ac 
domesticis rhetoricen esse demonstrat. Quo mani- 

5 festum est hanc opinionem ipsius Platonis fuisse. Et 
Cicero quodam loco materiam rlietorices vocat res, 
quae subiectae sint ei, sed certas demum putat esse 
subiectas. Alio vero de omnibus rebus oratori 
dicendum arbitratur his quidem verbis : Quanquam 
vis orator is professioque ipsa bene dicendi hoc suscipere 
ac polliceri videtur, ut omni de re, quaecunque sit pro- 

6 posita, ornate ab eo copioseque dicatur. Atque adhuc 
alibi : Vero cniin oratori, quae sunt in hondnnm vita, 
quandoquidem in ea versatur orator atqut ea est ei sub- 
iecta materies, omnia quaesita, audita, lecta, disputata, 
tractata, agitata esse debent. 

7 Hanc autem, quam nos materiam vocamus, id est 
res subiectas, quidam modo infinitam modo non 
propriam rlietorices esse dixerunt, eamque artem 
circumcurrentem vocaverunt, quod in omni materia 

8 diceret, cum quibus mihi minima pugna est. Nam 
de omni materia dicere earn fatentur ; propriam 
habere materiam, quia multiplicem habeat, negant. 
Sed neque infinita est, etiamsi est multiplex ; et 

1 Phaedr. 2G1 A. 2 de Inv. i. 5. 

8 de Or. I. vi. '21. "I will not demand omniscience from 
an orator, although " etc. * ib. ill. xiv. 54. 


BOOK II. xxi. 4-8 

found in things not words ; while in the Phaedrus l 
he clearly proves that rhetoric is concerned not 
merely with law-courts and public assemblies, but with 
private and domestic affairs as well : from which it is 
obvious that this was the view of Plato himself. Cicero 5 
also in a passage 2 of one of his works, states that 
the material of rhetoric is composed of the things 
which are brought before it, but makes certain re- 
strictions as to the nature of these things. In 
another passage, 3 however, he expresses his opinion 
that the orator has to speak about all kinds ofthiiigs; 
I will quote his actual words: "although the very 
meaning of the name of orator and the fact that 
he professes to speak well seem to imply a promise 
and undertaking that the orator will speak with 
elegance and fullness on any subject that may be 
put before him." And in another passage 4 he says, 6 
" It is the duty of the true orator to seek out, hear, 
read, discuss, handle and ponder everything that be- 
falls in the life of man, since it is with this that the 
orator is concerned and this that forms the material 
with which he has to deal." 

But this material, as we call it, that is to say 7 
the things brought before it, has been criticised by 
some, at times on the ground that it is limitless, and 
sometimes on the ground that it is not peculiar to 
oratory, which they have therefore dubbed a dis- 
cursive art, because all is grist that comes to its mill. 
I have no serious quarrel with these critics, for they 8 
acknowledge that rhetoric is concerned with every 
kind of material, though they deny that it has any 
peculiar material just because of that material's mul- 
tiplicity. But in spite of this multiplicity, rhetoric 
is not unlimited in scope, and there are other minor 



aliae quoque artes minores habent multiplicem 
materiam, velut architectonice, namque ea in omni- 
bus, quae sunt aedificio utilia, versatur, et caelatura, 
9 quae auro, argento, acre, ferro opera efficit. Nam 
sculptura etiam lignum, ebur, marmor, vitrum, 
gemmas praeter ea quae supra dixi complectitur. 

10 Neque protinus non est materia rhetorices, si in 
eadem versatur et alius. Nam si quaeram, quae sit 
materia statuarii, dicetur aes ; si quaeram quae sit 
excusoris, id est fabricae eius quam Graeci ^a\Kev- 
rLKrjv vocant, similiter aes esse respondeant. Atqui 

11 plurimum statuis differunt vasa. Nee medicina ideo 
non erit ars, quia unctio et exercitatio cum palae- 
strica, ciborum vero qualitas etiam cum cocorum ei 

12 sit arte communis. Quod vero de bono, utili, iusto 
disserere philosophiae officium esse dicunt, non 
obstat. Nam cum philosophum dicunt, hoc accipi 
voluiit virum bonum. Quare igitur oratorem, quern 
a bono viro non separo, in eadem materia versari 

13 mirer ? cum praesertim primo libro iam ostenderim^ 
pliilosophos omissam hanc ab oratoribus partem 
occupasse, quae rhetorices propria semper fuisset, 
ut illi potius in nostra materia versentur. Denique 
cum sit dialectices materia de rebus subiectis dis- 
putare, sit autem dialectice oratio concisa, cur non 
eadem perpetuae quoque materia videatur ? 

1 Pref. 10 sqq. 

BOOK II. xxi. 8-13 

arts whose material is characterised by the same 
multiplicity: such for instance is architecture, which 
deals with everything that is useful for the purpose 
of building : such too is the engraver's art which 
works on gold, silver, bronze, iron. As for sculpture, 9 
its activity extends to wood, ivory, marble, glass and 
precious stones in addition to the materials already 
mentioned. And things which form the material for 10 
other artists, do not for that reason cease forthwith 
to be material for rhetoric. For if I ask what is the 
material of the sculptor, I shall be told bronze ; and 
if I ask what is the material of the maker of vessels 
(I refer to the craft styled ^aA^em-iKr/ by the Greeks), 
the answer will again be bronze : and yet there is 
all the difference in the world between vessels and 
statues. Similarly medicine will not cease to be an 11 
art, because, like the art of the gymnast, it pre- 
scribes rubbing with oil and exercise, or because it 
deals with diet like the art of cookery. Again, the 12 
objection that to discourse of what is good, expedient 
or just is the duty of philosophy presents no diffi- 
culty. For when such critics speak of a philosopher, 
they mean a good man. Why then should I feel 
surprised to find that the orator whom I identify with 
the good man deals with the same material ? There 13 
is all the less reason, since I have already shown in 
the first book ! that philosophers only usurped this 
department of knowledge after it had been aban- 
doned by the orators : it was always the peculiar 
property of rhetoric and the philosophers are really 
trespassers. Finally, since the discussion of what- 
ever is brought before it is the task of dialectic, 
which is really a concise form of oratory, why should 
not this task be regarded as also being the appro- 
priate material for continuous oratory ? , 


14 Solet a quibusdam et illud opponi : Omnium igitut 
artium peritus erit orator, si de omnibus ei dicendum est. 
Possem hie Ciceronis respondere verbis, apud quern 
hoc invenio : Mea quid em sententia nemo esse poterit 
omni laude cumulatus orator, nisi erit omnium rerum 
magnarum atque artium scientiam consecutus ; sed mihi 
satis est eius esse oratorem rei de qua dicet non 

15 inscium. Neque enim omnes causas novit, et debet 
posse de omnibus dicere. De quibus ergo dicet .' 
De quibus didicit. Similiter de artibus quoque, de 
quibus dicendum erit, interim discet; et de quibus 
didicerit dicet. 

16 Quid ergo? non faber de fabrica melius aut 
de musice musicus ? Si nesciat orator, quid sit, 
de quo quaeratur, plane melius. Nam et litigator 
rusticus illitteratusque de causa sua melius, quam 
orator, qui nesciet quid in lite sit ; sed accepta 
a musico, a fabro, sicut a litigatore melius orator 

17 qnam ipse qui docuerit. Verum et faber, cum de 
fabrica, et musicus, cum de musica, si quid confirma- 
tionem desideraverit, dicet. Non quidem erit orator, 
sed faciet illud quasi orator, sicut cum vulnus impe- 

1 de Or. i. vi. 20. 

BOOK II. xxi. 14-17 

There is a further objection made by certain 14 
critics, who say " Well then. if an orator has to speak on 
every subject, he must be the master of all the arts." 
I might answer this criticism in the words of Cicero, 1 
in whom I find the following passage : " In my 
opinion no one can be an absolutely perfect orator 
unless he has acquired a knowledge of all important 
subjects and arts." I however regard it as suffi- 
cient that an orator should not be actually ignorant 
of the subject on which he has to speak. For he 15 
cannot have a knowledge of all causes, and yet he 
should be able to speak on all. On what then 
will he speak ? On those which he has studied. 
Similarly as regards the arts, he will study those 
concerning which he has to speak, as occasion may 
demand, and will speak on those which he has 

What then ? I am asked will not a builder 16 
speak better on the subject of building and a musi- 
cian on music ? Certainly, if the orator does not 
know what is the question at issue. Even an illite- 
rate peasant who is a party to a suit will speak 
better on behalf of his case than an orator who does 
not know what the subject in dispute may be. But 
on the other hand if the orator receive instruction 
from the builder or the musician, he will put for- 
ward what he has thus learned better than either, 
just as he will plead a case better than his client, 
once he has been instructed in it. The builder and 17 
the musician will, however, speak on the subject of 
their respective arts, if there should be any technical 
point which requires to be established. Neither will 
be an orator, but he will perform his task like an 
orator, just as when an untrained person binds up a 

3 6 3 


ritus deligabit, non erit medicus, sed faciet ut 

18 medicus. An huiusmodi res neque in laudem rieque 
in deliberationem neque in iudicium veniunt? Ergo 
cum de faciendo portu Ostiensi deliberatum est, non 
debuit sententiam dicere orator? atqui opus erat 

19 ratione architectorum. Livores et tumores in cor- 
pore cruditatis an veneni signa sint, non tractat 
orator ? at est id ex ratione medicinae. Circa men- 
suras et numeros non versabitur ? dicamus has 
geometriae esse partes. Equidern omnia fere credo 
posse casu aliquo venire in officium oratoris ; quod si 
non accidet, non erunt ei subiecta. 

20 Ita sic quoque recte diximus, materiam rhetorices 
esse omnes res ad dicendum ei subiectas ; quod 
quidem probat etiam sermo communis. Nam cum 
aliquid, de quo dicamus, accepimus, positam nobis 
esse materiam frequenter etiam praefatione testa- 

21 mur. Gorgias quidem adeo rhetori de omnibus rebus 
putavit esse dicendum, ut se in auditoriis interrogari 
pateretur, qua quisque de re vellet. Hermagoras 
quoque, dicendo materiam esse in causa et in quae- 

22 stionibus, omnes res subiectas erat complexus. Sed 
quaestiones si negat ad rhetoricen pertinere, dissentit 
a nobis ; si autem ad rhetoricen pertinent, ab hoc 

1 See in. T. 

BOOK II. xxi. 17-22 

wound, he will not be a physician, but he will be 
acting as one. Is it suggested that such topics 18 
never crop up in panegyric, deliberative or forensic 
oratory ? When the question of the construction of 
a port at Ostia came up for discussion, had not the 
orator to state his views? And yet it was a subject 
requiring the technical knowledge of the architect. 
Does not the orator discuss the question whether 19 
livid spots and swellings on the body are sympto- 
matic of ill-health or poison ? And yet that is a 
question for the qualified physician. Will he not 
deal with measurements and figures? And yet we 
must admit that they form part of mathematics. For 
my part I hold that practically all subjects are 
under certain circumstances liable to come up for 
treatment by the orator. If the circumstances do 
not occur, the subjects will not concern him. 

We were therefore right in asserting that the 20 
material of rhetoric is composed of everything that 
comes before the orator for treatment, an assertion 
which is confirmed by the practice of everyday 
speech. For when we have been given a subject 
on which to speak, we often preface our remarks by 
calling attention to the fact that the matter has 
been laid before us. Gorgias indeed felt so strongly 21 
that it was the orator's duty to speak on every sub- 
ject, that he used to allow those who attended his 
lectures to ask him questions on any subject they 
pleased. Hermagoras also asserted that the material 
of oratory lay in the cause and the questions it 
involved, thereby including every subject that can 
be brought before it. If he denies that general 22 
questions l are the concern of oratory, he disagrees 
with me : but if they do concern rhetoric, that 



quoque adiuvamur. Nihil est enim, quod non in 

23 causam aut quaestionem cadat. Aristoteles tres 
faciendo partes orationis, iudicialem, deliberativam, 
demonstrativam, paene et ipse oratori subiecit omnia ; 
nihil enim non in haec cadit. 

24 Quaesitum a paucissimis et de instrumento est. 
Instrumentum voco, sine quo formari materia in id 
quod velimus effici opus non possit. Verum hoc ego 
non artem credo egere sed artificem. Neque enim 
scientia desiderat instrumentum, quae potest esse 
consummata, etiamsi nihil facial, sed ille artifex, 
ut caelator caelum et pictor penicilla. Itaque 
haec in eum locum, quo de ovatore dicturi sumus^ 


BOOK II. xxi. 22-24 

supports my contention. For there is nothing which 
may not crop up in a cause or appear as a question 
for discussion. Aristotle l himself also by his tripartite 23 
division of oratory, into forensic, deliberative and 
demonstrative, practically brought everything into the 
orator's domain, since there is nothing that may not 
come up for treatment by one of these three kinds of 

A very few critics have raised the question as to 24 
what may be the instrument of oratory. My defini- 
tion of an instrument is that without which the material 
cannot be brought into the shape necessary for the effect- 
ing of our object. But it is not the art which re- 
quires an instrument, but the artist. Knowledge 
needs no instruments, for it may be complete 
although it produces nothing, but the artist must 
have them. The engraver cannot work without his 
chisel nor the painter without his brush. I shall 
therefore defer this question until I come to treat of 
the orator as distinct from his art. 

1 Rhet. i. iii. 3. 




I. QLONIAM in libro secundo quaesitum est, quid 
esset rhetorice et quis finis eius, artem quoque esse 
earn et utilem et virtutem, ut vires nostrae tulerunt, 
ostendimus, materiamque ei res omnes, de quibus 
dicere oporteret, subiecimus : iam hinc, unde coepe- 
rit, quibus constet, quo quaeque in ea modo inveni- 
enda atque tractanda sint, exsequar ; intra quern 
modum plerique scriptores artium constiterunt, 
adeo ut Apollodorus contentus solis iudicialibus 

2 fuerit. Nee sum ignarus, hoc a me praecipue, quod 
hie liber inchoat, opus studiosos eius desiderasse, ut 
inquisitione opinionum, quae diversissimae fuerunt, 
longe difficillimum, ita nescio an minimae legentibus 
futurum voluptati, quippe quod prope nudam prae- 

3 ceptorum traditionem desideret. In ceteris enim 
admiseere temptavimus aliquid nitoris, non iactandi 
ingenii gratia (namque in id eligi materia poterat 
uberior), sed ut hoc ipso adliceremus magis iuventu- 
tem ad cognitionem eorum, quae necessaria studiis 
arbitrabamur, si ducti iucunditate aliqua lectionis 


BOOK 111 

1. IN the second book the subject of inquiry 
was the nature and the end of rhetoric, and I proved 
to the best of my ability that it was an art, that it 
was useful, that it was a virtue and that its material 
was all and every subject that might come up for 
treatment. I shall now discuss its origin, its com- 
ponent parts, and the method to be adopted in hand- 
ling and forming our conception of each. For most 
authors of text-books have stopped short of this, 
indeed Apollodorus confines himself solely to forensic 
oratory. I know that those who asked me to write 2 
this \vork were specially interested in that portion on 
which I am now entering, and which, owing to the 
necessity of examining a great diversity of opinions, at 
once forms by far the most difficult section of this work, 
and also, I fear, may be the least attractive to my 
readers, since it necessitates a dry exposition of rules. 
In other portions of this work I have attempted to 3 
introduce a certain amount of ornateness, not, I may 
say, to advertise my style (if I had wished to do that, I 
could have chosen a more fertile theme), but in order 
that I might thus do something to lure our young 
men to make themselves acquainted with those prin- 
ciples which I regarded as necessary to the study of 
rhetoric : for I hoped that by giving them something 
which was not unpleasant to read I might induce a 
greater readiness to learn those rules which I feared 

37 1 


libentius discerent ea, quorum ne ieiuna atque arida 
traditio averteret animos et aures praesertim tarn 

4 delicatas raderet verebamur. Qua ratione se Lucre- 
tius dicit praecepta philosophiae carmine esse com- 
plexum ; namque hac, ut est notum, similitudine 
utitur : 

Ac veluti pueris absinthia taeira medentes 
Cum dare conantur, prius oras pocula circum 
Aspirant 1 mellis dulcijlavoque (iquore, 

5 et quae sequuntur. Sed nos veremur, ne parurn hie 
liber mellis et absinthii multiim babere videatur, 
sitque salubrior studiis quam dulcior. Quin etiam 
hoc timeo, ne ex eo minorem gratiam meat, quod 
pleraque non inventa per me sed ab aliis tradita 
continebit, habeat etiam quosdam, qui contra sentiant 
et adversentur, propterea quod plurimi auctores, 
quamvis eodem tenderent, diversas tamen vias 
muniverunt atque in suam quisque induxit sequentes. 

6 Illi autem probant qualecunque ingressi sunt iter, 
nee facile inculcatas pueris persuasiones mutaveris, 

7 quia nemo non didicisse mavult quam discere. Est 
autem, ut procedente libro patebit, infinita dissensio 
auctorum, primo ad ea, quae rudia atque imperfecta 
adhuc erant, adiicientibus quod invenissent scripto- 

1 inspiraut, A : adspirant, B : contingunt, MSS. of 

1 iv. 11. See also i. 936. 

ROOK III. i. 3-7 

might, by the dryness and aridity which must neces- 
sarily characterise their exposition, revolt their minds 
and offend their ears which are nowadays grown 

- O 

somewhat over-sensitive. Lucretius has the same 4 
object in mind when he states that he has set forth 
his philosophical system in verse ; for you will re- 
member the well-known simile which he uses l : 

" And as physicians when they seek to give 
A draught of bitter wormwood to a child, 
First smear along the edge that rims the cup 
The liquid sweets of honey, golden-hued," 

and the rest. But I fear that this book will have 6 
too little honey and too much wormwood, and that 
though the student may find it a healthy draught, 
it will be far from agreeable. I am also haunted by 
the further fear that it will be all the less attractive 
from the fact that most of the precepts which it con- 
tains are not original, but derived from others, and 
because it is likely to rouse the opposition of certain 
persons who do not share my views. For there are 
a large number of writers, who though they are all 
moving toward the same goal, have constructed 
different roads to it and each drawn their followers 
into their own. The latter, however, approve of 6 
the path on which they have been launched what- 
ever its nature, and it is difficult to change the con- 
victions implanted in boyhood, for the excellent reason 
that evervbodv prefers to have learned rather than 

/ +> i 

to be in process of learning. But, as will appear in 7 
the course of this book, there is an infinite diversity 
of opinions among writers on this subject, since some 
have added their own discoveries to those portions 
of the art which were still shapeless and unformed, 



ribus, mox, ut aliquid sui viderentur adferre, etiam 
recta mutantibus. 

8 Nam primus post eos, quos poetae tradiderunt, 
movisse aliqua circa rhetoricen Empedocles dicitur. 
Artium autem scriptores antiquissimi Corax et Tisias 
Siculi, quos insecutus est vir eiusdem insulae Gorgias 

9 Leontinus, Empedoclis, ut traditur, discipulus. Is 
beneficio longissimae aetatis (nam centum et novem 
vixit annos) cum multis simul floruit, ideoque et 
illorum, de quibus supra dixi, fuit aemulus et ultra 

10 Socraten usque duravit. Thrasymachus Chalce- 
donius cum hoc et Prodicus Cius et Abderites Pro- 
tagoras, a quo decem milibus denariorum didicisse 
artem, quam edidit, Euathlus dicitur, et Hippias 
Eleus et, quern Palameden Plato appellat, Alcidamas 

11 Elaites. Antiphon quoque et orationem primus 
omnium scripsit et nihilo minus et artem ipse com- 
posuit et pro se dixisse optime est creditus, etiam 
Polycrates, a quo scriptam in Socraten diximus ora- 
tionem, et Theodorus Byzantius ex iis et ipse, quos 

12 Plato appellat AoyoStuSa/Xoi;?. Horum primi com- 
munes locos tractasse dicuntur Protagoras, Gorgias, 
adfectus Prodicus et Hippias et idem Protagoras et 
Thrasymachus. Cicero in Bruto negat ante Periclea 
scriptum quidquam, quod ornatum oratorium habeat ; 
eius aliqua ferri. Equidem non reperio quidquam 

1 About 312. * Phacdr. 261 D. 

8 Phacdr. 260 E. vii. 27. 


BOOK III. i. 7-12 

and subsequently have altered even what was per- 
fectly sound in order to establish a claim to 

The first writer after those recorded by the poets 8 
who is said to have taken any steps in the direction 
of rhetoric is Empedocles. But the earliest writers 
of text-books are the Sicilians, Corax and Tisias, 
who were followed by another from the same island, 
namely Gorgias of Leontini, whom tradition asserts 
to have been the pupil of Empedocles. He, thanks to 9 
his length of days, for he lived to a hundred and nine, 
flourished as the contemporary of many rhetoricians, 
was consequently the rival of those whom I have 
just mentioned, and lived on to survive Socrates. 
In the same period flourished Thrasymachus of 10 
Chalcedon, Prodicus of Ceos, Protagoras of Abdera, 
for whose instructions, which he afterwards published 
in a text-book, Euathlus is said to have paid 10,000 1 
denarii, Hippias of Elis and Alcidamas of Elaea whom 
Plato 2 calls Palamedes. There was Antiphon also, 11 
who was the first to write speeches and who also wrote 
a text-book and is said to have spoken most elo- 
quently in his own defence ; Polycrates, who, as I 
have already said, wrote a speech against Socrates, 
and Theodorus of Byzantium., who was one of those 
called "word-artificers" by Plato. 3 Of these Pro- 12 
tagoras and Gorgias are said to have been the 
first to treat commonplaces, Prodicus, Hippias, 
Protagoras and Thrasymachus the first to handle 
emotional themes. Cicero in the Brutus* states 
that nothing in the ornate rhetorical style was 
ever committed to writing before Pericles, and that 
certain of his speeches are still extant. For my 
part I have been unable to discover anything in 



tanta eloquentiae fama dignum ; ideoque minus 
miror esse, qui nihil ab eo scriptum putent, hacc 

13 autem, quae feruntur, ab aliis esse composita. His 
successere multi^ sed clarissimus Gorgiae auditorum 
Isocrates, quanquam de praeceptore eius inter auc- 
tores non convenit ; nos autem Aristoteli credimus. 

14 Hinc velut diversae secari coeperunt viae. Nam et 
Isocratis praestantissimi discipuli fuerunt in omni 
studiorum genere, eoque iam seniore (octavum enim 
et nonagesimum implevit annum) postrneridianis 
scholis Aristoteles praecipere artem oratoriam coepit, 
noto quidem illo (ut traditur) versu ex Philocteta fre- 
quenter usus : Turpe esse tacere et hocralen pati dicere. 
Ars est utriusque, sed pluribus earn libris Aristoteles 
complexus est. Eodem tempore Theodectes fuit, de 

15 cuius opere supra dictum est. Theophrastus quoque 
Aristotelis discipulus de rhetorice diligenter scripsit, 
atque hinc vel studiosius philosophi quam rhetores 
praecipueque Stoicorum ac Peripateticorum principes. 

16 Fecit deinde velut propriam Hermagoras viam, quam 
plurimi sunt secuti ; cui maxime par atque aemulus 

1 cp. xn, ii. 22 : x. 49, where Quintilian asserts that all 
the writings of Pericles have been lost. 

2 Aristotle gave his esoteric lectures in the morning, 
reserving the afternoon for those of more general interest : 
see Aul. Gell. xx. v. 


BOOK III. i. 12-16 

the least worthy of his great reputation for eloquence, 1 
and am consequently the less surprised that there 
should be some who hold that he never committed 
anything to writing, and that the writings circula- 
ting under his name are the works of others. These 13 
rhetoricians had many successors, but the most 
famous of Gorgias' pupils was Isocrates, although 
our authorities are not agreed as to who was his 
teacher : I however accept the statement of Aristotle 
on the subject. From this point the roads begin to 14 
part. The pupils of Isocrates were eminent in every 
branch of study, and when he was already advanced 
in years (and he lived to the age of ninety-eight), 
Aristotle began to teach the art of rhetoric in his 
afternoon lectures, 2 in which he frequently quoted 
the well-known line from the Philoctetes* in the form 

" Isocrates still speaks. 'Twere shame should I 
Sit silent." 

Both Aristotle and Isocrates left text-books on 
rhetoric, but that by Aristotle is the larger and con- 
tains more books. Theodectes, whose work I men- 
tioned above, also lived about the same period ; while 15 
Theophrastus, the pupil of Aristotle, produced some 
careful work on rhetoric. After him we may note 
that the philosophers, more especially the leaders of 
the Stoic and Peripatetic schools, surpassed even 
the rhetoricians in the zeal which they devoted to 
the subject. Hermagoras next carved out a path of 16 
his own, which numbers have followed : of his rivals 
Athenaeus seems to have approached him most 

8 Probably the Philoctetes of Euripides. The original line 
was cuVxpfc" ffiuirav, fiap&dpovs 5' iav \eyfiv, which Aristotle 
travestied by substituting 'IffOKpaTrjv for &ap@dpovs. 



videtur Athenaeus fuisse. Multa post Apollonius 
Molon, multa Areus, multa Caecilius et Halicarnas- 

17 seus Dionysius. Praecipue tamen in se converterimt 
studia Apollodorus Pergamenus, qui praeceptor Apol- 
loniae Caesaris August! fuit, et Theodorus Gadareus, 
qui se dici maluit Rhodium, quern studiose audisse, 
cum in earn insulam secessisset, dicitur Tiberius 

18 Caesar. Hi diversas opiniones tradiderunt, appella- 
tique inde Apollodorei ac Theodorei ad morem certas 
in philosophia sectas sequendi. Sed Apollodori 
praecepta magis ex discipulis cognoscas, quorum 
diligentissimus in tradendo fuit Latine Gaius Valgius, 
Graece Atticus. Nam ipsius sola videtur Ars edita 
ad Matium, quia ceteras missa ad Domitium epis- 
tula non agnoscit. Plura scripsit Theodorus, cuius 
auditorem Hermagoran sunt qui viderint. 

19 Romanorum primus (quantum ego quidem sciam) 
condidit aliqua in hanc materiam M. Cato ille cen- 
sorius, post M. Antonius inchoavit ; nam hoc solum 
opus eius atque id ipsum imperfectum manet. 
Secuti minus celebres ; quorum memoriam, si quo 

20 loco res poscet, non omittam. Praecipuum vero 
lumen sicut eloquentiae ita praeceptis quoque eius 
dedit, unicum apud nos specimen orandi docendique 
oratorias artes, M. Tullius ; post quern tacere mode- 

1 The younger Hermagoras, a rhetorician of the Augustan 


BOOK III. i. 16-20 

nearly. Later still much work was done by Apol- 
lonius Molon, Areus, Caecilius and Dionysius of 
Halicarnassus. But the rhetoricians who attracted 17 
the most enthusiastic following were Apollodorus of 
Pergamus, who was the instructor of Augustus Caesar 
at Apollonia, and Theodorus of Gadara, who preferred 
to be called Theodorus of Rhodes : it is said that 
Tiberius Caesar during his retirement in that island 
was a constant attendant at his lectures. These 18 
rhetoricians taught different systems, and two schools 
have arisen known as the Apollodoreans and the 
Theodoreans, these names being modelled on the 
fashion of nomenclature in vogue with certain schools 
of philosophy. The doctrines of Apollodorus are 
best learned from his pupils, among whom Cains 
Valgius was the best interpreter of his master's views 
in Latin, Atticus in Greek. The only text-book by 
Apollodorus himself seems to be that addressed to 
Matius, as his letter to Domitius does not acknow- 
ledge the other works attributed to him. The 
writings of Theodorus were more numerous, and 
there are some still living who have seen his pupil 

The first Roman to handle the subject was, to the 19 
best of my belief, Marcus Cato, the famous censor, 
while after him Marcus Antonius began a treatise on 
rhetoric : I say " began," because only this one work of 
his survives, and that is incomplete. He was followed 
by others of less note, whose names I will not omit to 
mention, should occasion demand. But it was Cicero 20 
who shed the greatest light not only on the practice 
but on the theory of oratory ; for he stands alone 
among Romans as combining the gift of actual elo- 
quence with that of teaching the art. With him for 



stissimum foret, nisi et rhetoricos suos ipse adole- 
scent! sibi elapsos diceret, et in oratoriis haec 
minora, quae plerumque desiderantur, sciens omi- 

21 sisset. Scripsit de eadem materia non pauca Cor- 
nificius, aliqua Stertinius, nonnihil pater Gallic ; 
accuratius vero priores Gallione Celsus et Laenas et 
aetatis nostrae Verginius., Plinius, Tutilius. Stint et 
hodie clari eiusdem operis auctores, qui si omnia 
complexi forent, consuluissent labori meo ; sed parco 
nominibus viventium ; veniet eorum laudi suum 
tempus, ad posteros enim virtus durabit, non per- 
veniet invidia. 

22 Non tamen post tot ac tantos auctores pigebit 
meam quibusdam locis posuisse sententiam. Neque 
enim me cuiusquam sectae velut quadam supersti- 
tione imbutus addixi, et electuris quae volent faci- 
enda copia fuit, sicut ipse plurium in unum confero 
inventa, ubicunque ingenio non erit locus, curae 
testimonium meruisse contentus. 

II. Nee diu nos moretur quaestio, quae rhetorices 
origo sit. Nam cui dubium est, quin sermonem ab 
ipsa rerum natura geniti protinus homines acceperint 
(quod certe principium est eius rei), huic studium et 
incrementum dederit utilitas, summam ratio et exer- 
2 citatio ? Nee video, quare curam dicendi putent 

1 sc. the de Inventione. 

BOOK III. i. 20-11. 2 

predecessor it would be more modest to be silent, but 
for the fact that he himself describes his Rhetorica 1 
as a youthful indiscretion, while in his later works on 
oratory he deliberately omitted the discussion of 
certain minor points, on which instruction is generally 
desired. Cornificius wrote a good deal, Stertinius 21 
something, and the elder Gallic a little on the same 
subject. But Gallio's predecessors, Celsus and Laenas, 
and in our own day Verginius, Pliny and Tutilius, 
have treated rhetoric with greater accuracy. Even 
to-day we have some distinguished writers on oratory 
who, if they had dealt with the subject more com- 
prehensively, would have saved me the trouble of 
writing this book. But I will spare the names of the 
living. The time will come when they will reap their 
meed of praise ; for their merits will endure to after 
generations, while the calumnies of envy will perish 

Still, although so many writers have preceded me, 22 
I shall not shrink from expressing my own opinion on 
certain points. I am not a superstitious adherent of 
any school, and as this book will contain a collection 
of the opinions of many different authors, it was de- 
sirable to leave it to my readers to select what they 
will. I shall be content if they praise me for my 
industry, wherever there is no scope for originality. 

II. The question as to the origin of rhetoric need 
not keep us long. For who can doubt that mankind 
received the gift of speech from nature at its birth 
(for we can hardly go further back than that), while 
the usefulness of speech brought improvement and 
study, and finally method and exercise gave per- 
fection ? I cannot understand why some hold that 2 
the elaboration of speech originated in the fact that 


quidam inde coepisse, quod ii, qui in discrimen 
aliquod vocabantur, accuratius loqui defendendi sui 
gratia instituerint. Haec enim ut honestior causa, 
ita non utique prior est, cum praesertim accusatio 
praecedat defensionem; nisi quis dicet, etiam gladium 
fabricatum ab eo prius, qui ferrum in tutelam sui 

3 quam qui in perniciem alterius compararit. Initium 
ergo dicendi dedit natura, initium artis observatio. 
Homines enim, sicuti in medicina, cum viderent alia 
salubria, alia insalubria, ex observatione eorum effe- 
cerunt artem, ita, cum in dicendo alia utilia, alia 
inutilia deprehenderent, notarunt ea ad imitandum 
vitandumque, et quaedam secunduni rationem eorum 
adiecerunt ipsi quoque ; haec confirmata sunt usu, 

4 turn quae sciebat quisque docuit. Cicero quidem 
initium orandi conditoribus urbium ac legum latori- 
bus dedit, in quibus fuisse vim dicendi necesse est ; 
cur tamen hanc primam originem putet, non video, 
cum sint adhuc quaedam vagae et sine urbibus ac 
sine legibus gentes, et tamen qui sunt in iis nati et 
legationibus fungantur et accusent aliqua atque 
defendant et denique alium alio melius loqui 

III. Omnis autem orandi ratio, ut plurimi maxi- 
mique auctores tradiderunt, quinque partibus constat, 
inventione, dispositione, elocutione, memoria, pro- 
nuntiatione sive actione, utroque enim modo dicitur. 
Omnis vero sermo, quo quidem voluntas aliqua enun- 
2 tiatur, habeat necesse est rem et verba. Ac si est 


BOOK III. ii, 2-in. 2 

those who were in peril owing to some accusation 
being made against them, set themselves to speak 
with studied care for the purpose of their own de- 
fence. This, however, though a more honour- 
able origin, cannot possibly be the earlier, for 
accusation necessarily precedes defence. You might 
as well assert that the sword was invented for the 
purpose of self-defence and not for aggression. It 3 
was, then, nature that created speech, and observa- 
tion that originated the art of speaking. Just as men 
discovered the art of medicine by observing that some 
things were healthy and some the reverse, so they 
observed that some things were useful and some use- 
less in speaking, and noted them for imitation or 
avoidance, while they added certain other precepts 
according as their nature suggested. These observa- 
tions were confirmed by experience and each man 
proceeded to teach what he knew. Cicero, 1 it is 4 
true, attributes the origin of oratory to the founders 
of cities and the makers of laws, who must needs 
have possessed the gift of eloquence. But why he 
thinks this the actual origin, I cannot understand, 
since there still exist certain nomad peoples without 
cities or laws, and yet members of these peoples per- 
form the duties of ambassadors, accuse and defend, 
and regard one man as a better speaker than 

III. The art of oratory, as taught by most authori- 
ties, and those the best, consists of five parts : 
invention, arrangement, expression, memory, and delivery 
or action (the two latter terms being used synonym- 
ously). But all speech expressive of purpose involves 
also a subject and words. If such expression is brief 2 

1 de Inv. i. 2. 



brevis et una conclusione finitus, nihil fortasse ultra 
desideret ; at oratio longior plura exigit. Non tan- 
turn enim refert, quid et quo modo dicamus, sed 
etiam quo loco ; opus ergo est et dispositione. Sed 
neque omnia, quae res postulat, dicere neque suo 
quaeque loco poterimus nisi adiuvante memoria ; 

3 quapropter ea quoque pars quarta erit. Verum haec 
cuncta corrumpit ac propemodum perdit indecora 
vel voce vel gestu pronuntiatlo. Huic quoque igitur 
tribuendus est necessario quintus locus. 

4 Nee audiendi quidam, quorum est Albutius, qui 
tris modo primas esse partes volunt, quoniam me- 
moria atque actio natura non arte contingant (quarum 
nos praecepta suo loco dabimus), licet Thrasymachus 

5 quoque idem de actione crediderit. His adiecerunt 
quidam sextam partem, ita ut inventioni iudicium 
subnecterent, quia primum esset invenire, deinde 
iudicare. Ego porro ne invenisse quidem credo eum, 
qui non iudicavit ; neque enim contraria, communia, 
stulta invenisse dicitur quisquam, sed non vitasse. 

6 Et Cicero quidem in Rhetoricis iudicium subiecit 
inventioni ; mihi autem adeo tribus primis partibus 
videtur esse permixtum (nam neque dispositio sine 
eo neque elocutio fuerit), ut pronuntiationem quoque 

7 vel plurimum ex eo mutuari putem. Quod hoc 
audacius dixerim, quod in Partitionibus oratoriis ad 

Book II. chaps, ii. and iii. 
2 No such statement is found in the de Inventions. 


BOOK III. in. 2-7 

and contained within the limits of one sentence, it 
may demand nothing more, but longer speeches 
require much more. For not only what we say 
and how we say it is of importance, but also 
the circumstances under which w r e say it. It is here 
that the need of arrangement comes in. But it will 
be impossible to say everything demanded by the 
subject, putting each thing in its proper place, without 
the aid of memory. It is for this reason that memory 3 
forms the fourth department. But a delivery, which 
is rendered unbecoming either by voice or gesture, 
spoils everything and almost entirely destroys the 
effect of what is said. Delivery therefore must be 
assigned the fifth place. 

Those (and Albutius is among them), who maintain 4 
that there are only three departments on the ground 
that memory and delivery (for which I shall give 
instructions in their proper place *) are given us by 
nature not by art, may be disregarded, although 
Thrasymachus held the same views as regards de- 
livery. Some have added a sixth department, sub- 5 
joining judgment to invention, on the ground that it is 
necessary first to invent and then to exercise our judg- 
ment. For my own part I do not believe that invention 
can exist apart from judgment,since we do not say that a 
speaker has invented inconsistent, two-edged or foolish 
arguments, but merely that he has failed to avoid 
them. It is true that Cicero in his Rhetorica 2 in- 6 
eludes judgment under invention ; but in my opinion 
judgment is so inextricably mingled with the first 
three departments of rhetoric (for without judgment 
neither expression nor arrangement are possible), that 
I think that even delivery owes much to it. I say 7 
this with all the greater confidence because Cicero in 



easdem, de quibus supra dictum est, quinque per- 
venit partes. Nam cum dupliciter primum divisisset 
in inventionem atque elocutionem, res ac disposi- 
tionem invention!, verba et pronuntiationem elocu- 
tiuni dedit quintamque constituit, communem ac 
velut custodem omnium, memoriam. Idem in l 
Oratore quinque rebus constare eloquentiam dicit, 
in quibus postea scriptis certior eius sententia est. 

8 Non minus mihi cupidi novitatis alicuius videntur 
fuisse, qui adiecerunt ordinem, cum dispositionem 
dixissent, quasi aliud sit dispositio quam rerum 
ordine quam optimo collocatio. Dion inventionem 
modo et dispositionem tradidit sed utramque dupli- 
cem, rerum et verborum, ut sit elocutio inventionis, 
pronuntiatio dispositions, his quinta pars memoriae, 
accedat. Theodore! fere inventionem duplicem, 
rerum atque elocutionis, deinde tris ceteras partes. 

9 Hermagoras iudicium, partitionem, ordinem, quae- 
que sunt elocutionis, subiicit occonomiae, quae 
Graece appellata ex cura rerum domesticarum et hie 
per abusionem posita nomine Latino caret. 

10 Est et circa hoc quaestio, quod memoriam in 
ordine partium quidam inventioni, quidam disposi- 
tion! subiunxerunt ; nobis quartus eius locus maxime 
placet. Non enim tantum inventa tenere, ut dis- 

1 in libris de Oratore, Sp aiding (sc. I. xxxi. 142). 

1 i. 3. a 14-17. 


BOOK III. in. 7-10 

his Partitiones oratoriae 1 arrives at the same five-fold 
division of which I have just spoken. For after an 
initial division of oratory into invention and expression, 
he assigns matter and arrangement to invention, icords 

c^ O 

and delivery to expression, and makes memory a fifth 
department common to them all and acting as their 
guardian. Again in the Orator' 1 he states that elo- 

o " 

quence consists of five things, and in view of the fact 
that this is a later work we may accept this as his 
more settled opinion. Others, who seem to me to 8 
have been no less desirous than those mentioned 
above to introduce some novelty, have added order, 
although they had already mentioned arrangement, 
as though arrangement was anything else than the 
marshalling of arguments in the best possible order. 
Dion taught that oratory consisted only of invention 
and arrangement, but added that each of these depart- 
ments was twofold in nature, being concerned with 
words and things, so that expression comes under 
invention, and delivery under arrangement, while memory 
must be added as a fifth department. The followers 
of Theodorus divide invention into two parts, the one 
concerned with matter and the other with expression, 
and then add the three remaining departments. 
Hermagoras places judgment, division, order and 9 
everything relating to expression under the heading 
of economy, a Greek word meaning the management 
of domestic affairs which is applied metaphorically to 
oratory and has no Latin equivalent. 

A further question arises at this point, since 10 
some make memory follow invention in the list of 
departments, while others make it follow arrangement. 
Personally 1 prefer to place it fourth. For we ought 
not merely to retain in our minds the fruits of our 



ponamus, nee disposita, ut eloquamur, sed etiam 
verbis formata memoriae mandare debemus. Hac 
enira omnia, quaecunque in orationem collata sunt, 

11 Fuerunt etiam in hac opinione non pauci, ut has 
non rhetorices partes esse existimarent sed opera 
oratoris ; eius enim esse invenire, disponere, eloqui 

12 et cetera. Quod si accipimus, nihil arti relinquimus. 
Nam bene dicere est oratoris, rhetorice tamen erit 
bene dicendi scientia ; vel, ut alii putant, artificis est 
persuadere, vis autem persuadendi artis. Ita inve- 
nire quidem et disponere oratoris, inventio autem et 

13 dispositio rhetorices propria videri potest. In eo 
plures dissenserunt, utrumne hae partes essent rhe- 
torices an eiusdem opera an, ut Atlienaeus credit, 
elementa, quae vocant crrotx^a. Sed neque elementa 
recte quis dixerit, alioqui tantum initia erunt, ut 
mundi vel umor vel ignis vel materia vel corpora 
insecabilia ; nee operum recte nomen accipient, quae 
non ab aliis perficiuntur, sed aliud ipsa perficiunt : 

14 partes igitur. Nam cum sit ex his rhetorice, fieri 
non potest ut, cum totum ex partibus constet, non 
sint partes totius ex quibus constat. Videntur 
autem mihi, qui haec opera dixerunt, eo quoque 
moti, quod in alia rursus divisione nollent in idem 


BOOK 111. HI. 10-14 

invention, in order that we may be able to arrange 
them, or to remember our arrangement in order that 
we may express it, but we must also commit to 
memory the words which we propose to use, since 
memory embraces everything that goes to the com- 
position of a speech. 

There are also not a few who have held that these 11 
are not parts of rhetoric, but rather duties to be 
observed by the orator. For it is his business to 
invent, arrange, express, etcetera. If, however, we 
accept this view, we leave nothing to art. For 12 
although the orator's task is to speak well, rhetoric 
is the science of speaking well. Or if we adopt 
another view, the task of the artist is to persuade, 
while the power of persuasion resides in the art. 
Consequently, while it is the duty of the orator to 
invent and arrange, invention and arrangement may be 
regarded as belonging to rhetoric. At this point 13 
there has been much disagreement, as to whether 
these are parts or duties of rhetoric, or, as Athenaeus 
believes, elements of rhetoric, which the Greeks call 
crroLx^ia. But they cannot correctly be called ele- 
ments. For in that case we should have to regard 
them merely as first-principles, like the moisture, fire, 
matter or atoms of which the universe is said to be 
composed. Nor is it correct to call them duties, since 
they are not performed by others, but perform some- 
thing themselves. We must therefore conclude that 
they are parts. For since rhetoric is composed of 14 
them, it follows that, since a whole consists of parts, 
these must be parts of the whole which they com- 
pose. Those who have called them duties seem to 
me lo have been further influenced by the fact that 
they wished to reserve the name of parts for another 



nomen incidere, partes enim rhetorices esse dicebant 
laudativam, deliberativam,, iudicialem. Quae si partes 
15 sunt, materiae sunt potius quarn artis. Namque in 
his singulis rhetorice tota est, quia et inventionem 
et dispositionem et elocutionem et memoriam et 
pronuntiationem quaecunque earum desiderat. Ita- 
que quidam genera tria rhetorices dicere maluerunt, 
optime autem ii, quos secutus est Cicero, genera 

IV. Sed tria an plura sint, ambigitur. Nee dubie 
prope omnes utique summae apud antiques auctori- 
tatis scriptores Aristotelem secuti, qui nomine tan- 
turn alio contionalem pro deliberativa appellat, hac 

2 partitione contenti fuerunt. Verum et turn leviter 
est temptatum, cum apud Graecos quosdam turn 
apud Ciceronem in libris de Oratore, et nunc maximo 
temporum nostrorum auctore prope impulsum, ut 
non modo plura haec genera, sed paene innumera- 

3 bilia videantur. Nam si laudandi ac vituperandi 
officium in parte tertia ponimus, in quo genere 
versari videbimur, cum querimur, consolamur, miti- 
gamus, concitamus, terremus, confirmamuSj praecipi- 
mus, obscure dicta interpretamur, narramus, depre- 
camur, gratias agimus, gratulamur, obiurgamus, 
maledicimus, describimus, mandamus, renuntiamus, 

4 optamus, opinamur, plurima alia ? ut mihi in ilia 
vetere persuasione permanent! velut petenda sit 
venia, quaerendumque, quo moti priores rein tam 

1 de Or. i. xxxi. J41 ; Top. xxiv. 91. 2 de Or. ii. 10 sq. 

BOOK III. in. i4-iv. 4 

division of rhetoric : for they asserted that the parts 
of rhetoric were, panegyric, deliberative and forensic 
oratory. But if these are parts, they are parts rather 
of the material than of the art. For each of them 15 
contains the whole of rhetoric, since each of them 
requires invention, arrangement, expression, memory and 
delivery. Consequently some writers have thought 
it better to say that there are three kinds of oratory; 
those whom Cicero ! has followed seem to me to 
have taken the wisest course in terming them kinds 

of causes. 

IV. There is, however, a dispute as to whether 
there are three kinds or more. But it is quite cer- 
tain that all the most eminent authorities among 
ancient writers, following Aristotle who merely sub- 
stituted the term public for deliberative, have been 
content with the threefold division. Still a feeble 2 
attempt has been made by certain Greeks and by 
Cicero in his de Oratore, 2 to prove that there are not 
merely more than three, but that the number of 
kinds is almost past calculation : and this view has 
almost been thrust down our throats by the greatest 
authority 3 of our own times. Indeed if we place the 3 
task of praise and denunciation in the third division, 
on what kind of oratory are we to consider ourselves 
to be employed, when we complain, console, pacify, 
excite, terrify, encourage, instruct, explain obscurities, 
narrate, plead for mercy, thank, congratulate, re- 
proach, abuse, describe, command, retract, express 
our desires and opinions, to mention no other of the 
many possibilities ? As an adherent of the older view 4 
I must ask for indulgence and must enquire what was 
the reason that led earlier writers to restrict a subject 

5 Unknown. Perhaps the elder Pliny, 



late fusam tarn breviter astrinxerint. Quos qui 
errasse putant, hoc sccutos arbitrantur, quod in his 

5 fere versari turn oratores videbant ; nam et laudes 
ac vituperationes scribebantur, et eVira^'ovs dicere 
erat moris, et plurimum in consiliis ac iudiciis in- 
sumebatur operae, ut scriptores artium pro solis 

6 comprehenderint frequentissima. Qui vero defen- 
dunt, tria faciunt genera auditorum, unum, quod ad 
delectationem conveniat, alterum, quod consilium 
accipiat, tertium, quod de causis iudicet. Mihi 
cuncta rimanti et talis quaedam ratio succurrit, quod 
omne orationis officium aut in iudiciis est aut extra 

7 iudicia. Eorum, de quibus iudicio quaeritur, mani- 
festurn est genus ; ea, quae ad iudicem non veniunt, 
aut praeteritum habent tempus aut futurum ; prae- 
terita laudamus aut vituperamus, de futuris delibe- 

8 ramus. Item omnia, de quibus dicendum est_, aut 
certa sint necesse est aut dubia. Certa, ut cuique 
est animus, laudat aut culpat ; ex dubiis partim nobis 
ipsis ad electionem sunt libera, de his deliberatur ; 
partim aliorum sententiae commissa, de his lite 

9 Anaximenes iudicialem et contionalem generales 
partes esse voluit, septem autem species : hortandi, 


BOOK III. iv. 4-9 

of such variety to such narrow" bounds. Those who 
think such authorities in error hold that they were 
influenced by the fact that these three subjects 
practically exhausted the range of ancient oratory. 
For it was customary to write panegyrics and denun- 5 
ciations and to deliver funeral orations, while the 
greater part of their activities was devoted to the 
law-courts and deliberative assemblies ; as a result, 
they say, the old writers of text-books only included 
those kinds of oratory which were most in vogue. The 6 
defenders of antiquity point out that there are three 
kinds of audience : one which comes simply for the 
sake of getting pleasure, a second which meets to re- 
ceive advice, a third to give judgement on causes. 
In the course of a thorough enquiry into the question 
it has occurred to me that the tasks of oratory must 
either be concernedwith the law-courts or with themes 
lying outside the law-courts. The nature of the 7 
questions into which enquiry is made in the courts is 
obvious. As regards those matters which do not 
come before a judge, they must necessarily be con- 
cerned either with the past or the future. We praise 
or denounce past actions, we deliberate about the 
future. Again everything on which we have to 8 
speak must be either certain or doubtful. We praise 
or blame what is certain, as our inclination leads us : 
on the other hand where doubt exists, in some cases 
we are free to form our own views, and it is here that 
deliberation comes in, while in others, we leave the 
problem to the decision of others, and it is on these 
that litigation takes place. 

Anaximenes regarded forensic and public oratory 9 
as genera but held that there were seven species : 
exhortation, dissuasion, praise, denunciation, accusa- 



dehortandi, laudandi, vituperandi, accusandi, defen- 
dendi, exquircndi, quod ^erao-TtKov dicil ; quarum 
duae primae deliberativi, duae sequentes demon- 
strativi, tres ultimae iudicialis generis sunt partes. 

10 Protagoran transeo, qui interrogandi, respondendi, 
mandandi, precandi, quod cu^oArji/ dixit, partes solas 
putat. Plato in Sophiste iudiciali et contionali ter- 
tiam adiecit 7rpocrofj.L\r]TLK^v ) quarn sane permittamus 
nobis dicere sermocinatricem ; quae a forensi ratione 
diiungitur et est accommodata privatis disputationi- 
bus, cuius vis eadem profecto est quae dialecticae. 

11 Isocrates in omni genere inesse laudem ac vitupera- 
tionem existimavit. 

Nobis et tutissirnum est auctores plurimos sequi, 

12 et ita videtur ratio dictare. Est igitur, ut dixi, 
unum genus, quo laus ac vituperatio continetur, sed 
est appellatum a parte meliore laudativum ; idem 
alii demonstrativum vocant. Utrumque nomen ex 
Graeco creditur fluxisse, nam eyKoo/xiao-riKov aut tTrt- 

13 SeiKTiKov dicunt. Sed mihi eViStiKTt/coi/ non tarn 
demonstrations vim habere quam ostentationis 
videtur et multum ab illo eyKoo/ucurn/co) differre ; nam 
ut continet laudativum in se genus, ita non intra hoc 

14 solum consistit. An quisquam negaverit Panegyri- 
cos cViScixriKous esse ? Atqui formam suadendi 
habent et plerumque de utilitatibus Graeciae loquun- 
tur ; ut causarum quidem genera tria sint, sed ea 
turn in negotiis turn in ostentatione posita. Nisi 

1 222 o. a Fr. 3 a. 


BOOK III. iv. 9-14 

tion, defence, inquiry, or as he called it 
The first two, however, clearly belong to delibera- 
tive, the next to demonstrative, the three last to 
forensic oratory. I say nothing of Protagoras, who 10 
held that oratory was to be divided only into the 
following heads : question and answer, command and 
entreaty, or as he calls it ev^ojX^. Plato in his 
Sophist A in addition to public and forensic oratory 
introduces a third kind which he styles 7rpo<ro^.iX^rtKT;, 
which I will permit myself to translate by "conver- 
sational." This is distinct from forensic oratory and 
is adapted for private discussions, and we may regard 
it as identical with dialectic. Isocrates 2 held that 11 
praise and blame find a place in every kind of 

The safest and most rational course seems to be to 1? 
follow the authority of the majority. There is, 
then, as I have said, one kind concerned with praise 
and blame, which, however, derives its name from 
the better of its two functions and is called lauda- 
tory ; others however call it demonstrative. Both 
names are believed to be derived from the Greek in 
which the corresponding terms are encomiastic, and 
epideictic. The term cpidcictic seems to me however 13 
to imply display rather than demonstration, and to 
have a very different meaning from encomiastic. For 
although it includes laudatory oratory, it does not 
confine itself thereto. Will any one deny the title 14 
of epideictic to panegyric ? But yet panegyrics are ad- 
visory in form and frequently discuss the interests 
of Greece. We may therefore conclude that, while 
there are three kinds of oratory, all three devote 
themselves in part to the matter in hand, and in 
part to display. But it may be that Romans are not 



forte non ex Graeco mutuantes demonstrativum 
vocant, verum id sequuntur, quod laus ac vituperatio 

15 quale sit quidque demonstrat. Alterum est deli- 
berativum, tertium iudiciale. Ceterae species in 
haec tria incident genera, nee invenietur ex his ulla, 
in qua non laudare ac vituperare, suadere ac dissua- 
dere, intendere quid vel depellere debeamus. Ilia 
quoque sunt communia, conciliare, narrare, docere, 
augere, minuere, concitandis componendisve adfecti- 

16 bus animos audientium fingere. Ne iis quidem acces- 
serim, qui laudativam materiam honestorum, delibe- 
rativam utilium, iudicialem iustorum quaestione 
contineri putant, celeri magis ac rotunda usi distri- 
butione quam vera. Stant enim quodammodo mutuis 
auxiliis omnia. Nam et in laude iustitia utilitasque 
tractatur et in consiliis honestas, et raro iudicialem 
inveneris causam, in cuius non parte aliquid eorum, 
quae supra diximus, rej>eriatur. 

V. Omnis autem oratio constat aut ex iis_, quae 
significantur, aut et iis, quae significant, id est rebus 
et verbis. Facultas orandi consummatur natura, 
arte, exercitatione, cui partem quartam adiiciunt 
2 quidam imitationis, quam nos arti subiicimus. Tria 
sunt item, quae praestare debeat orator, ut doceat, 
moveat, delectet. Haec enim clarior divisio quam 
eorum, qui totum opus in res et in adfectus par- 

BOOK III. iv. i 4 -v. 2 

borrowing from Greek when they apply the title 
demonstrative, but are merely led to do so because 
praise and blame demonstrate the nature of the 
object with which they are concerned. The second 15 
kind is deliberative, the third forensic oratory. All 
other species fall under these three genera : you will 
not find one in which we have not to praise or 
blame, to advise or dissuade, to drive home or refute 
a charge, while conciliation, narration, proof, exag- 
geration, extenuation, and the moulding of the minds 
of the audience by exciting or alh'.ving their pas- 
sions, are common to all three kinds of oratory. 1 16 
cannot even agree with those who hold that lauda- 
tory subjects are concerned with the question of 
what is honourable, deliberative with the question of 
what is expedient, and forensic with the question of 
what is just : the division thus made is easy and 
neat rather than true : for all three kinds rely on 
the mutual assistance of the other. For we deal 
with justice and expediency in panegyric and with 
honour in deliberations, while you will rarely find a 
forensic case, in part of which at any rate something 
of those questions just mentioned is not to be found. 
V. Every speech however consists at once of that 
which is expressed and that which expresses, that is 
to say of matter and words. Skill in speaking is 
perfected by nature, art and practice, to which some 
add a fourth department, namely imitation, which I 
however prefer to include under art. There are also 2 
three aims which the orator must always have in 
view ; he must instruct, move and charm his hearers. 
This is a clearer division than that made by those 


who divide the task of oratory into that which relates 
to things and that which concerns the emotions, 



tiuntur. Non semper autem omnia in earn quae 
tractabitur matcriain cadent. Erunt enim quaedam 
remotae ab adfectibus, qui ut non ubique habent 
locum, ita quocunque irruperunt, plurimum valent. 

3 Praestantissimis auctoribus placet alia in rhetorice 
esse, quae probationem desiderent, alia quae non 
desiderent, cum quibus ipse consentio. Quidam 
vero, ut Celsus, de nulla re dicturum oratorem, nisi 
de qua quaeratur, existimant, cui cum maxima pars 
scriptorum repugnat turn etiam ipsa partitio ; nisi 
forte laudare, quae constet esse honesta, et vitupe- 
rare, quae ex confesso sint turpia, non est oratoris 

4 lllud iam omnes fatentur, esse quaestiones aut in 
scripto aut in non scripto; in scripto de hire, in non 
scripto de re. lllud rationale hoc legale genus 
Hermagoras atque eum secuti vocant, id est VOJUKOV 

5 et AoyiKoV. Idem sentiunt, qui omnem quaestionem 
ponunt in rebus et in verbis. 

Item coiivenit, quaestiones esse aut infinitas aut 
finitas. Infinitae sunt, quae remotis personis et 
temporibus et locis ceterisque similibus in utramque 
partem tractantur, quod Graeci Qkuw dicunt, Cicero 
propositum, alii quaestiones universales civiles, alii 
quaestiones philosopho convenientes, Athenaeus 
G partem causae appellat. Hoc genus Cicero scientia 
et actione distinguit, ut sit scientiae, An providenlia 

1 Top. xxi. 79. 

* Top. 81 ; Part. Or. xviii. 62. 


BOOK III. v. 2-6 

since both of these will not always be present in the 
subjects which we shall have to treat. For some 
themes are far from calling for any appeal to the 
emotions, which, although room cannot always be 
found for them, produce a most powerful effect 
wherever they do succeed in forcing their way. The 3 
best authorities hold that there are some things in 
oratory which require proof and others which do not, 
a view with which I agree. Some on the other hand, 
as for instance Celsus, think that the orator will not 
speak on any subject unless there is some question 
involved in it ; but the majority of writers on rhetoric 
are against him, as is also the threefold division of 

O * 

oratory, unless indeed to praise what is allowed to be 
honourable and to denounce what is admittedly dis- 
graceful are no part of an orator's duty. 

It is, however, universally agreed that all questions 4 
must be concerned either with something that is 
written or something that is not. Those concerned with 
what is written are questions of law, those which con- 
cern what is not written are questions of fact. Herma- 
goras calls the latter rational questions, the former 
legal questions, for so we may translate AoytKoV and 
vofMtKov. Those who hold that every question con- 5 
cerns either things or words, mean much the same. 

It is also agreed that questions are either definite 
or indefinite. Inde/initec[uest\OTis are those which may 
be maintained or impugned without reference to 
persons, time or place and the like. The Greeks call 
them theses, Cicero 1 propositions, others general questions 
relating to civil life, others again questions suited for 
philosophical discussion, while Athenaeus calls them 
parts of a cause. Cicero 2 distinguishes two kinds, 6 
the one concerned with knowledge, the other with 
action. Thus " Is the world governed by pro- 



mundus regalur ; actionis, An accedendum ad rempub- 
licam administrandam. Priiis trium generum, an sit r 
quid sit? quale sit? omnia enim haec ignorari 
possunt ; sequens duorum, quo modo adipiscamur? 

7 quo modo utamur? Finitae autem sunt ex com- 
plexu rerum, personarum, temporum, ceterorumque ; 
hae a Graecis dicuntur, causae a nostris. 
In his omnis quaestio videtur circa res personasque 

8 consistere. Amplior est semper infinita, inde enim 
finita descendit. Quod ut exemplo pateat, infinita 
est, An uxor ducenda ? finita, An Catoni ducenda ? 
ideoque esse suasoria potest. Sed etiam remotae a 
personis propriis ad aliquid referri solent. Est enim 
simplex, An respublica administranda ? refertur ad 

9 aliquid, An in tyrannide administranda ? Sed hie 
quoque subest velut latens persona ; tyrannus enim 
geminat quaestionem, subestque et temporis et 
qualitatis tacita vis ; nondum tamen lioc proprie 
dixeris causam. Hae autem, quas infinitas voco, et 
generales appellantur ; quod si est verum, finitae 
speciales erunt. In oinni autem speciali utique 

10 inest generalis, ut quae sit prior. Ac nescio an in 
causis quoque, quidquid in quaestionem venit quali- 


BOOK III. v. 6-10 

vidence ? " is a question of knowledge, while " Should 
we enter politics ? ' is a question of action. The 
first involves three questions, whether a thing 
is, what it is, and of what nature : for all these 
things may be unknown : the second involves two, 
how to obtain power and how to use it. Definite 1 
questions involve facts, persons, time and the like. 
The Greeks call them hypotheses, while we call them 
causes. In these the whole question turns on per- 
sons and facts. An indefinite question is always the 8 
more comprehensive, since it is from the indefinite 
question that the definite is derived. I will illustrate 
what I mean by an example. The question " Should 
a man marry?" is indefinite; the question "Should 
Cato marry ? " is definite, and consequently may be 
regarded as a subject for a deliberative theme. But 
even those which have no connexion with particular 
persons are generally given a specific reference. 
For instance the question " Ought we to take a share 
in the government of our country ? ' is abstract, 
whereas " Ought we to take part in the government 
of our country under the sway of a tyrant ? ' has a 
specific reference. But in this latter case we may 9 
say that a person is tacitly implied. For the 
mention of a tyrant doubles the question, and 
there is an implicit admission of time and quality ; 
but all the same you would scarcely be justified in 
calling it a cause or definite question. Those ques- 
tions which I have styled indefinite are also called 
general : if this is correct, we shall have to call definite 
questions special questions. But in every special 
question the general question is implicit, since the 
genus is logically prior to the species. And perhaps 10 
even in actual causes wherever the notion of quality 
comes into question, there is a certain intrusion of 



tatis, generale sit. Milo Clodium occidit, hire occidit 
insidiatorem ; nonne hoc quaeritur, An sit ins insid/a- 
torern occidendi ? Quid in coiiiecturis ? non ilia 
generalia, An causa sceleris odium ? cupidilas ? An 
tormentis credendum ? Teslibus an argumentis maior 
fides habenda ? Nam finitione quidem comprehend i 

1 1 nihil non in universum certum ei it. Quidam putant 
etiam eas thesis posse aliquando nominari, quae 
personis causisque contineantur, aliter tantummodo 
positas : ut causa sit, cum Orestes accusatur : thesis, 
An Orestes rede sit absolutus ; cuius generis est, An 
Cato rede Marciam Hortensio tradideriL Hi thesin a 
causa sic distinguuntj ut ilia sit spectativae partis, 
haec activae ; illic enim veritatis tantum gratia dis- 
putari, hie negotium a^i. 

12 Quanquam inutiles quidam oratori putant univei- 
sales quaestiones, quia nihil prosit, quod constet 
ducendam esse uxorein vel administrandam rempub- 
licam, si quis vel aetate vel valetudine impediatur. 
Sed non omnibus eiusmodi quaestionibus sic occurri 
potest, ut illis, sitne virtus finis ? regaturne provi- 

13 dentia mundus ? Quin etiam in iis, quae ad per- 

BOOK III. v. 10-13 

the abstract. " Milo killed Clodius : he was justified 
in killing one who lay in wait for him." Does not 
this raise the general question as to whether we 
have the rig-lit to kill a man who lies in wait for us? 


What again of conjectures? May not they be of a 
general character, as for instance, " What was the 
motive for the crime ? hatred ? covetousness ? ' or 
" Are we justified in believing confessions made under 
torture ? ' or " Which should carry greater weight, 
evidence or argument ? ' As for definitions, every- 
thing that they contain is undoubtedly of a general 
nature. There are some who hold that even those 11 
questions which have reference to persons and par- 
ticular cases may at times be called theses, provided 
only they are put slightly differently : for instance, 
if Orestes be accused, we shall have a cause : whereas 
if it is put as question, namely " Was Orestes rightly 
acquitted?" it will be a thesis. To the same class 
as this last belongs the question " Was Cato right 
in transferring Marcia to Hortensius?" These per- 
sons distinguish a thesis from a cause as follows : a 
thesis is theoretical in character, while a cause has 
relation to actual facts, since in the former case we 
argue merely with a view to abstract truth, while in 
the latter we have to deal with some particular act. 

Some, however, think that general questions are 12 
useless to an orator, since no profit is to be derived 
from proving that we ought to marry or to take 
part in politics, if we are prevented from so doing 
by age or ill health. But not all general questions 
are liable to this kind of objection. For instance 
questions such as " Is virtue an end in itself?' or 
" Is the world governed by providence ? ' cannot 
be countered in this way. Further in questions 13 



sonam referuntur, ut non est satis generalem tractasse 
quaestionem, ita perveniri ad speciem nisi ilia prius 
excussa non potest. Nam quomodo, an sibi uxor 
ducenda sit, deliberabit Cato, nisi constiterit, uxores 
esse ducendas? Et quomodo, an ducere debeat 
Marciam, quaeretur, nisi Catoni ducenda uxor est? 

14 Sunt tamen inscripti nomine Hermagorae libri, qui 
confirmant illam opinionem, sive falsus est titulus 
sive alius hie Hermagoras fuit. Nam eiusdem esse 
quomodo possunt, qui de hac arte mirabiliter multa 
composuit, cum, sicut ex Ciceronis quoque rhetorico 
primo manifestum est, materiam rhetorices in thesis 
et causas diviserit ? Quod reprehendit Cicero ac 
thesin nihil ad oratorem pertinere contendit totum- 
que hoc genus quaestionis ad philosophos refert. 

15 Sed me liberavit respondendi verecundia, et quod 
ipse hos libros improbat, et quod in Oratore atque 
his, quos de Oratore scripsit, et Topicis praecipit, ut 
a propriis personis atque temporibus avocemus con- 
troversiam : quia latius dicere liceat de genere quam 
de specie, et, quod in universe probatum sit, in parte 

16 probatum esse necesse sit. Status autem in hoc 
omne genus materiae iidem, qui in causas, cadunt. 
Adhuc adiicitur, alias esse quaestiones in rebus ipsis, 

1 de Inv. i. 6. 2 Orator xiv. 45. 

deOr. iii. 30; Top, 21. 


BOOK III. v. 13-16 

which have reference to a particular person, although 
it is not sufficient merely to handle the general 
question, we cannot arrive at any conclusion on 
the special point until we have first discussed the 
general question. For how is Cato to deliberate 
"whether he personally is to marry," unless the 
general question "whether marriage is desirable' 
is first settled ? And how is he to deliberate 
" whether he should marry Marcia," unless it is 
proved that it is the duty of Cato to marry? There 14 
are, however, certain books attributed to Herma- 
goras which support this erroneous opinion, though 
whether the attribution is spurious or whether they 
were written by another Hermagoras is an open 
question. For they cannot possibly be by the 
famous Hermagoras, who wrote so much that was 
admirable on the art of rhetoric, since, as is clear 
from the first book of the Rhetorica of Cicero, 1 he 
divided the material of rhetoric into theses and causes. 
Cicero objects to this division, contends that theses 
have nothing 1 to do with an orator, and refers all 

O ' 

this class of questions to the philosophers. But 15 
Cicero has relieved me of any feeling of shame 
that I might have in controverting his opinion, since 
he has not only expressed his disapproval of his Rhe- 
torica, but in the Orator? the de Oratore and the 
Topica 3 instructs us to abstract such discussions 
from particular persons and occasions, " because 
we can speak more fully on general than on special 
themes, and because what is proved of the whole 
must also be proved of the part." In all general 16 
questions, however, the essential basis is the same as 
in a cause or definite question. It is further 
pointed out that there are some questions which 



alias quae ad aliquid referantur : illud, An uxor 
diicenda ? hoc, An scni duccnda ? illud, An fords ? 
hoc, Anjbrtior? et similia. 

17 Causam finit Apollodorus, ut interpretatione Vnlgi 
discipuli eius utar, ita : Causa est negotium omnibus 
suis partibus spectans ad qunestionem ; aut : Causa est 
negotium, cuius Jlnis est controversia. Ipsum deinde 
neffotium sic finit: Negotium est co?igregaiio person- 

O O O O i 

arum, locorum, teniporum, causarum } modorum, casuum, 
fact or urn f instrumentorum, sermonum, scriptorum et non 

18 scriptonim. Causam nunc intelligamus v-n-oOco-iv, 
negotium TTf/uVratrtv. Sed et ipsam causam quidam 
similiter finicrunt, ut Apollodorus negotium. Iso- 
crates autem causam esse ait quaestionem finitam 
civilem aut rein controversam in personarum fini- 
tarum complexu ; Cicero his verbis : Causa cert is 
personis, locis, temporibus, aclionibus, negotiis cernilur, 
aut in omnibus aut in plerisque eorum. 

VI. Ergo cum omnis causa contineatur aliquo 
statu, priusquam dicere aggredior, quo modo genus 

Fr. 13 Shcehan. 2 Top. xxi. 80. 

3 This chapter is highl}' technical and of little interest for 
the most part to any save professed students of the technique 
of the ancient schools of rhetoric. Its apparent obscurity will, 
however, be found to disappear on careful analysis. The one 
passage of general interest it contains is to be found in the 
extremely ingenious fictitious theme discussed in sections 
96 sqq. 


BOOK III. v. i6-vi. i 

concern " things in themselves," while others have 
a particular reference ; an example of the former 
will be the question " Should a man marry ? " of the 
latter " Should an old man marry ? " ; or again the 
question whether a man is brave will illustrate the 
first, while the question whether lie is braver than 
another will exemplify the second. 

Apollodorus defines a cause in the following terms 17 
(I quote the translation of his pupil Valgius) : "A 
cause is a matter which in all its parts bears on the 
question at issue," or again "a cause is a matter of 
which the question in dispute is the object." 
He then defines a matter in the following terms : 
"A matter is a combination of persons, circumstances 
of place and time, motives, means, incidents, acts, 
instruments, speeches, the letter and the spirit of the 
law. Let us then understand a cause in the sense of 18 
the Greek hypothesis or subject, and a matter in the 
sense of the Greek peristasis or collection of circum- 
stances. But some, however, have defined a cause in 
the same way that Apollodorus defines a matter. 
Isocrates l on the other hand defines a cause as some 
definite question concerned with some point of civil affairs, 
or a dispute in whicli definite persons are involved ; while 
Cicero' 2 uses the following words : "A cause may be 
known by its being concerned with certain definite 
persons, circumstances of time and place, actions, and 
business, and will relate either to all or at any rate to 
most of these." 

VI. 3 Since every cause, then, has a certain essential 
basis 4 on which it rests, before I proceed to set forth 
how each kind of cause should be handled, I think I 

4 There is no exact English equivalent for status. Basis or 
ground are perhaps the nearest equivalents. 



quodque causae sit tractandum, id quod est com- 
mune omnibus, quid sit status et unde ducatur et 
quot et qui sint, intuendum puto. Quanquam id 
nonnulli ad iudiciales tantum pertinere materias 
putaverunt, quorum inscitiam, cum omnia tria genera 

2 fuero exsecutus, res ipsa deprehendet. Quod nos 
statum, id quidam constitutionem vocant, alii quae- 
stionem, alii quod ex quaestione appareat, Theodorus 
caput id est /<e<aAcuov yeriKamrroK, ad quod referantur 
omnia. Quorum diversa appellatio, vis eadem est; 
nee interest discentium, quibus quidque nominibus 

3 appelletur, dum res ipsa manifesta sit. Statum 
Graeci O-TO.O-IV vocant, quod nomen non primum ab 
Hermagora traditum putant, sed alii ab Naucrate, 
Isocratis discipulo, alii a Zopyro Clazomenio ; quan- 
quam videtur Aeschines quoque in oratione contra 
Ctesiphontem uti hoc verbo, cum a iudicibus petit, 
ne Demostheni permittant evagari, sed eum dicere 

4 de ipso causae statu cogant. Quae appellatio dicitur 
ducta vel ex eo, quod ibi sit primus causae congressus, 
vel quod in hoc causa consistat. Et nominis quidem 
haec origo ; nunc quid sit. Statum quidam dixerunt 
primam causarum conflictionem ; quos recte sensisse, 

6 parum elocutos puto. Non enim est status prima 
conflictio, fecisti, non fed ; sed quod ex prima con- 

1 206. 

BOOK III. vi. 1-5 

should first examine a question that is common to all 
of them, namely, what is meant by basis, whence it 
is derived and how many and of what nature such 
bases may be. Some, it is true, have thought that 
they were peculiar merely to forensic themes, but 
their ignorance will stand revealed when I have 
treated of all three kinds of oratory. That which I 2 
call the basis some style the constitution, others the 
question, and others again that which may be inferred 
from the question, while Theodorus calls it the most gen- 
eral head, K<a\cuov yeviKamrrov, to which everything 
must be referred. These different names, however, all 
mean the same thing, nor is it of the least importance 
to students by what special name things are called, 
as long as the thing itself is perfectly clear. The 3 
Greeks call this essential basis (rrcum, a name which 
they hold was not invented by Hermagoras, but 
according to some was introduced by Naucrates, the 
pupil of Isocrates, according to others by Zopyrus of 
Clazomenae, although Aeschines in his speech against 
Ctesiphon 1 seems to employ the word, when he asks 
the jury not to allow Demosthenes to be irrelevant 
but to keep him to the stasis or basis of the case. 
The term seems to be derived from the fact that it 4 
is on it that the first collision between the parties to 
the dispute takes place, or that it forms the basis or 
standing of the whole case. So much for the origin of 
the name. Now for its nature. Some have defined 
the basis as being \\\e first conflict of the causes. The 
idea is correct, but the expression is faulty. For the 6 
essential basis is not the first conflict, which we may 
represent by the clauses " You did such and such 
a thing" and "I did not do it." It is rather the 
kind of question which arises from the first conflict, 



flictione nascitur, id est genus quaestionis, fccisti, non 

fed, an fecerit ? Hoc fecisti, non hoc fed, quid fecerit ? 

Quia ex his apparet, illud coniectura, hoc finitione 

quaerendum, atque in eo pars utraque insistit, erit 

6 quaestio coniecturalis vel finitivi status. Quid si 
enim dicat quis, sonits est duorum inter se corporum 
conjlictio : erret, ut opinor, non enim sonus est con- 
flictio sed ex conflictione. Sed hoc levius ; intelli- 
gitur enim utcunque dictum. Inde vero ingens 
male interpretantibus innatus est error, qui, quia 
primam conflictionem legerant, crcdiderunt statum 
semper ex prima quaestione ducendum ; quod est 

7 vitiosissimum. Nam quaestio nulla non habet utique 
statum, constat enim ex intentione et depulsione; 
sed aliae sunt propriae causarum, de quibus ferenda 
sententia est, aliae adductae extrinsecus, aliquid 
tamen ad summam causae conferentes, velut auxilia 
quaedam, quo fit ut in controversia una plures quae- 

8 stiones esse dicantur. Harum porro plerumque 
levissima quaeque primo loco fungitur. Namque et 
illud frequens est, ut ea, quibus minus confidimus, 
cum tractata sunt, omittamus, interim sponte nostra 

BOOK III. vi. 5-8 

which we may represent as follows. " You did it," 
"I did not," "Did he do it?," or "You did this," "I 
did not do this," " What did he do ? ' It is clear 
from these examples, that the first sort of question 
depends on conjecture, the second on definition, and 
that the contending parties rest their respective cases 
on these points : the bases of these questions will 
therefore be of a conjectural or definitive character 
respectively. Suppose it should be asserted that 6 
sound is the conflict between two bodies, the state- 
ment would in my opinion be erroneous. For sound 
is not the actual conflict, but a result of the conflict. 
The error is, however, of small importance : for the 
sense is clear, whatever the expression. But this 
trivial mistake has given rise to a very serious error 
in the minds of those who have not understood what 
was meant : for on reading that the essential basis was 
the first conflict, they immediately concluded that the 
basis was always to be taken from the first question, 
which is a grave mistake. For every question has 7 
its basis, since every question is based on assertion by 
one party and denial by another. But there are some 
questions which form an essential part of causes, and 
it is on these that we have to express an opinion ; 
while others are introduced from without and are, 
strictly speaking, irrelevant, although they may 
contribute something of a subsidiary nature to the 
general contention. It is for this reason that there 
are said to be several questions in one matter of 
dispute. Of these questions it is often the most 8 
trivial which occupies the first place. For it is a 
frequent artifice to drop those points in which we 
place least confidence, as soon as we have dealt with 
them ; sometimes we make a free gift of them to our 



velut donantes, interim ad ea quae sunt potentiora 
9 gradum ex iis fecisse contenti. Simplex autem 
causa etiamsi varie defenditur, non potest habere 
plus uno, de quo pronuntietur, atque inde erit status 
causae, quod et orator praecipue sibi obtinendum et 
iudex spectandum maxime intelligit ; in hoc enim 
causa consistet. Ceterum quaestionum possunt esse 

10 diversi. Quod ut brevissimo pateat exemplo : cum 
dicit reus, Etiamsi fed, recte fed, qualitatis utitur 
statu ; cum adiicit, sed non fed, coniecturam movet. 
Semper autem firmius est non fecisse, ideoque in 
eo statum esse iudicabo, quod dicerem, si mihi plus 

11 quam unum dicere non liceret. Recte igitur est 
appellata causarum prima conflictio non quaestionum. 
Nam et pro Rabirio Postumo Cicero prima parte 
orationis in hec intendit, ut actionem competere in 
equitem Romanum neget ; secunda, nullam ad eum 
pecuniam pervenisse confirmat. Statum tamen in 

12 eo dicam fuisse, quod est potentius. Nee in causa 
Milonis circa primas quaestiones 1 iudicabo conflixisse 
causam,sed ubi totis viribus insidiator Clodius ideoque 
iure interfectus ostenditur. Et hoc est, quod ante 
omnia constituere in animo suo debeat orator, etiamsi 

1 After quaestiones the MSS. continue quae sunt ante 
prooemium positae. The words as they stand are absurd. 
Halm therefore brackets the whole sentence as interpolated. 
The alternative is to read post (Regius) or ant'j, pro prooemio 
(Baden), for which cp. iv. ii 25 sq., where Quintilian states 
that these primae quaestiones have the " force of an 
exordium " (vim prooemii). 


BOOK III. vi. 8-12 

opponents, while sometimes we are content to use 
them as a step to arguments which are of greater 
importance. A simple cause, however, although it 9 
may be defended in various ways, cannot have more 
than one point on which a decision has to be given, 
and consequently the basis of the cause will be that 
point which the orator sees to be the most important 
for him to make and on which the judge sees that he 
must fix all his attention. For it is on this that the 
cause will stand or fall. On the other hand questions 
may have more bases than one. 1 A brief example 10 
will show what I mean. When the accused says 
"Admitting that I did it, I was right to do it," he 
makes the basis one of quality ; but when he adds " but 
I did not do it," he introduces an element of 
conjecture. 2 But denial of the facts is always the 
stronger line of defence, and therefore I conceive the 
basis to reside in that which I should say, if I were 
confined to one single line of argument. We are 11 
right therefore in speaking of the first conflict of 
causes in contradistinction to the conflict of questions. 
For instance in the first portion of his speech on 
behalf of Rabirius Postumus Cicero contends that the 
action cannot lie against a Roman knight, while in 
the second he asserts that no money ever came into 
his client's hands. Still I should say that the basis 
was to be found in the latter as being the stronger of 
the two. Again in the case of Milo I do not consider 12 
that the conflict is raised by the opening questions, but 
only when the orator devotes all his powers to prove that 
Clodius lay in wait for Milo and was therefore rightly 
killed. The point on which above all the orator must 
make up his mind, even although he may be going to 

1 See 21. See 30 sqq. 



pro causa plura dicturus est, quid maxime liquere 
iudicivelit. Quod tamen ut primum cogitandunij ita 
non utique primum dicendum erit. 

13 Alii statum crediderunt primam eius, cum quo 
ageretur, deprecation era. Quam sententiam his 
verbis Cicero complectitur : in quo primum insistit 
quasi ad repugnandum congrcssa defcnsio. Unde rursus 
alia quaestio, an eum semper is faciat qui respondet. 
Cui rei praecipue repugnat Cornelius Celsus dicens 
non a depulsione stimi, sed ab eo qui propositionem 
suam confirm et ; ut, si hominem occisum reus negat, 
status ab accusatore nascatur, quia is velit probare ; 
si iure occisum reus dicit, translata probationis ne- 

!4 cessitate idem a reo fiat, et sit eius intentio. Cui 
non accedo equidem ; nam est vero propius quod 
contra dicitur, nullam esse litem, si is, cum quo 
agatur, nihil respondeat, ideoque fieri statum a re- 

15 spondente. Mea tamen sententia varium id est, et 
accidit pro condicione causarum, quia et videri potest 
propositio aliquando statum faccre, ut in coniectura- 
libus causis ; utitur enim coniectura magis qui agit, 
(quo moti quidam eundem a reo infitialem esse 
dixerunt) et in syllogismo tota ratiocinatio ab eo est 

1 Top. xxv. 93. 

2 i.e. where the law forms the major premiss, while the 
minor premiss is the act which is brought under the law. 


BOOK III. vi. 12-15 

take up various lines of argument in support of his 
case, is this: what is it that he wishes most to impress 
upon the mind of the judge ? But although this 
should be the first point for his consideration, it does 
not follow that it should be the first that he will make 
in his actual speech. 

Others have thought that the basis lay in the first 13 
point raised by the other side in its defence. Cicero l 
expresses this view in the following words: "the 
argument on which the defence first takes its stand 
with a view to rebutting the charge." This involves 
a further question as to whether the basis can only be 
determined by the defence. Cornelius Celsus is 
strongly against this view, and asserts that the basis 
is derived not from the denial of the charge, but from 

O * 

him who affirms his proposition. Thus if the accused 
denies that anyone has been killed, the basis will 
originate with the accuser, because it is the latter 
who desires to prove : if on the other hand the 
accused asserts that the homicide was justifiable, the 
burden of proof has been transferred and the basis 
will proceed from the accused and be affirmed by him. 
I do not, however, agree. For the contrary is nearer 14 
to the truth, that there is no point of dispute if the 
defendant makes no reply, and that consequently the 
basis originates with the defendant. But in my 15 
opinion the origin of the basis varies and depends on 
the circumstances of the individual case. For instance 
in conjectural causes the affirmation may be regarded 
as determining the basis, since conjecture is employed 
by the plaintiff rather than the defendant, and con- 
sequently some have styled the basis originated 
by the latter Jiegative. Again in any syllogism' 2 
the whole of the reasoning proceeds from him who 



16 qui intendit. Sed quia videtur illic quoque necessi- 
tatem hos status exsequendi facere qui negat, (is 
enim si dicat, non fed, coget adversarium coniectura 
uti ; et si dicat, non habes legem, syllogismo) conce- 
damus ex depulsione nasci statum. Nihilominus 
enim res eo revertetur, ut modo is qui agit, raodo is 

17 cum quo agitur, statum faciat. Sit enim accusatoris 
intentio, Hominem occidisti. Si negat reus, faciat 
statum qui negat. Quid si confitetur, sed iure a se 
adulterum dicit occisum ? nempe legem esse certum 
est quae permittat. Nisi aliquid accusator respondet, 
nulla lis est. Nonfuit, inquit, adult er ; ergo depulsio 
incipit esse actoris, ille statum faciet. Ita erit 
quidem status ex prima depulsione, sed ea fiet ah 

18 accusatore non a reo. Quid? quod eadem quaestio 
potest eundem vel accusatorem facere vel reum : 
Qui artem ludicram exercuerit, in quattuordecim primis 
ordinibus ne sedeat ; qui se praetori in hortis osten- 
derat neque erat productus, sedit in quattuordecim 

19 ordinibus. Nempe intentio est: Artem ludicram 
exercuisti ; depulsio : Non exercui artem ludicram ; 

1 Conjectural causes and the syllogism. 
3 Reserved for equites. 


BOOK III. vi. 15-19 

affirms. But on the other hand he who in such cases l 16 
denies appears to impose the burden of dealing with 
such bases upon his opponent. For if he says " I did not 
do it," he will force his opponent to make use of con- 
jecture, and again, if he says " The law is against you," 
he will force him to employ the syllogism. Therefore 
we must admit that a basis can originate in denial. 
All the same we are left with our previous conclusion 
that the basis is determined in some cases by the 
plaintiff, in some by the defendant. Suppose the 17 
accuser to affirm that the accused is guilty of homi- 
cide : if the accused denies the charge, it is he who 
will determine the basis. Or again,, if he admits that 
he has killed a man, but states that the victim was 
an adulterer and justifiably killed (and we know that 
the law permits homicide under these circumstances), 
there is no matter in dispute, unless the accuser has 
some answer to make. Suppose the accuser does 
answer however and deny that the victim was guilty 
of adultery, it will be the accuser that denies, and it 
is by him that the basis is determined. The basis, 
then, will originate in the first denial of facts, but 
that denial is made by the accuser and not the 
accused. Again the same question may make the 18 
same person either accuser or accused. " He who has 
exercised the profession of an actor, is under no circum- 
stances to be allowed a seat in the first fourteen 
rows of the theatre." 2 An individual who had per- 
formed before the praetor in his private gardens, but 
had never been presented on the public stage, has 
taken his seat in one of the fourteen rows. The 19 
accuser of course affirms that he has exercised the 
profession of an actor : the accused denies that he has 
exercised the profession. The question then arises 



quaestio : Quid sit artem ludicram exercerc ? Si accu- 
sabitur theatrali lege, depulsio erit rei ; si excitatus 
fuerit de spectaculis et aget iniuriarum, depulsio erit 

20 accusatoris. Frequentius tanien illud accidet, quod 
est a plurimis traditum. Effugerunt has quaestiones 
qui dixerunt, statum esse id, quod appareat ex in- 
tentione et depulsione, ut Fecisti, Xon fed aut Rede 

21 fed. Viderimus tamen, utrum id sit status an in eo 
status. Hermagoras statum vocat, per quern suhiecta 
res intelligatur et ad quern probationes etiain partium 
referantur. Nostra opinio semper haec fait : cum 
essent frequenter in causa diversi quaestionum status, 
in eo credere statum causae, quod esset in ea poten- 
tissimum et in quo maxime res verteretur. Id si 
quis generalem qtiaestionem vel caput generale dicere 
malet cum lioc milii non erit pugna, non magis, quam 
si aliud adhuc, quo idem intelligatur, eius rei nomen 
invenerit, quanquam tota volumina in hanc disputa- 
tionem impendisse multos sciam ; nobis statum dici 

22 placet. Sed cum in aliis omnibus inter scriptores 
summa dissensio est, turn in hoc praecipue videtur 
mihi studium quoque diversa tradendi fuisse ; adeo, 
nee qui sit numerus nee quae nomina nee qui 
generales quive speciales sint status, convenit. 

1 i.e. that the defendant makes the basis or status. Sec 


BOOK III. vi. 19-22 

as to the meaning of the " exercise of the profession 
of actor." If he is accused under the law regarding 
the seats in the theatre, the denial will proceed from 
the accused ; if on the other hand he is turned out 
of the theatre and demands compensation for assault, 
the denial will be made by the accuser. The view 20 
of the majority of writers 1 on this subject will, 
however, hold good in most cases. Some have evaded 
these problems by saying that a basis is that which 
emerges from affirmations and denials, such as " You 
did it," "I did not do it," or "I was justified in 
doing it." But let us see whether this is the basis 21 
itself or rather that in which the basis is to be found. 
Hermagoras calls a basis that which enables the 
matter in question to be understood and to which the 
proofs of the parties concerned will also be directed. 
My own opinion has always been that, whereas there 
are frequently different bases of questions in connexion 
with a cause, the basis of the cause itself is its most 
important point on which the whole matter turns. 
If anyone prefers to call that the general question or 
general head of the cause, I shall not quarrel with him, 
any more than I have done hitherto if he produced 
a different technical term to express the same thing, 
although I know that whole volumes have been 


written on such disputes. I prefer however to call 
it the basis. There is the greatest possible disagree- 22 
ment among writers about this as about everything 
else, but in this case as elsewhere they seem to me to 
have been misled by a passion for saying something 
different from their fellow-teachers. As a result 
there is still no agreement as to the number and 
names of bases, nor as to which are general and which 



23 Ac primum Aristoteles elementa decem constituit, 
circa quae versari videatur omnis quaestio. Ovo-iav, 
quara Plautus essentiam vocat, neque sane aliud est 
eius nomen Latinum ; sed ea quaeritur, an sit. 
Qualitatem, cuius apertus intellectus est. Quanti- 
tatem, quae dupliciter a posterioribus divisa est, 
quam magnum et quam multum sit? Ad aliquid, 

24 unde ducta est translatio et comparatio. Post haec 
Ubi et Quando ; deinde Facere, Pati, Habere, quod 
est quasi armatum esse, vestitum esse. Novissime 
Kelo-Oai, quod est compositum esse quodam modo, ut 
calere, stare, irasci. Sed ex iis omnibus prima quat- 
tuor ad status pertinere, cetera ad quosdam locos 

25 argumentorum videntur. Alii novem elementa 
posuerunt, Personam, in qua de animo, corpore, extra 
positis quaeratur, quod pertinere ad coniecturae et 
qualitatis instrumenta video. Tempus, quod ^poVov 
vocant, ex quo quaestio, an is quern, dum addicta 
est, mater peperit, servus sit natus. Locum, unde 
controversia videtur, an fas fuerit tyrannum in 
templo occidere. An exulaverit, qui domi latuit 

26 Tempus iterum, quod Kaipo'v appellant ; hanc autem 
videri volunt speciem illius temporis, ut aestatem 

1 Categ. ii. 7. 

2 See 52, 68 sqq., 84-86, which make the meaning of 
translatio fairly clear. No exact rendering is satisfactory. 
Literally it means "transference of the charge" : the sense 
is virtually the same as that of exceptio (a plea made by 
defendant in bar of plaintiffs action). "Exception" is 


BOOK III. vi. 23-26 

To begin with Aristotle l lays down that there are 23 
ten categories on which every question seems to turn. 
First there is ovo-i'a, which Plautus calls essence, the 
only available translation : under this category we in- 
quire whether a thing is. Secondly there is quality, 
the meaning of which is self-evident. Third comes 
quantity, which was subdivided by later philosophers 
as dealing with two questions as to magnitude and 
number. Next relation, involving questions of com- 
petence 2 and comparison. This is followed by when 
and where. Then come doing, suffering and possessing, 24 
which for example are concerned with a person's being 
armed or clothed. Lastly comes KCUT&U or position, 
which means to be in a certain position, such for in- 
stance as being warm,, standing or angry. Of these 
categories the first four concern bases, the remainder 
concern only certain topics for argument. Others 25 
make the number of categories to be nine. Person, 
involving questions concerning the mind, body or 
external circumstances, which clearly has reference 
to the means by which we establish conjecture or 
quality. Time, or ^povog, from which we get questions 
such as whether a child is born a slave, if his mother 
is delivered of him while assigned 3 to her creditors. 
Place, from which we get such disputes as to whether 
it is permissible to kill a tyrant in a temple, or 
whether one who has hidden himself at home can be 
regarded as an exile. Then comes time in another 26 
sense, called Kcupos by the Greeks, by which they 
refer to a period of time, such as summer or winter ; 

too unfamiliar and technical a term. " Competence," despite 
its vagueness, is perhaps the least unsatisfactory rendering. 

5 addicti were not technically servi, though in a virtual 
condition of servitude, being the bondsmen of their creditors 
till their debt was paid. 



vel hiemem ; huic subiicitur ille in pestilentia comis- 
sator. Actum, id est Trpa^w, quod eo referunt, scicns 
commiserit an insciens ? necessitate an casu ? et talia. 
Numerum, qui cadit in speciem quantitatis, an Thra- 
sybulo triginta praemia debeantur, quia tot tyrannos 

27 sustulerit? Causam, cui plurimae subiacent lites, 
quotiens factum non negating sed quia iusta ratione 
sit factum, defenditur. TpoVov, cum id, quod alio 
modo fieri licet, alio dicitur factum; bine est adulter 
loris caesus vel fame necatus. Occasionem factorum, 
quod est apertius, quam ut vel iiiterpretandum vel 
exemplo sit demonstrandum, tamen d^op/x,as />ywv 

28 vocant. Hi quoque nullam quaestionem extra haec 
putant. Quidam detrahunt duas partes, numerum 
et occasionem, et pro illo quod dixi actum subiiciunt 
res, id est Trpay/xara. Quae ne praeterisse viderer, 
satis habui attingere. Ceterum his nee status satis 
ostendi nee omnes contineri locos credo, quod appa- 
rebit diligentius legentibus, quae de utraque re 
dicam. Erunt enim plura multo, quam quae his 
elementis comprehend untur. 

29 Apud plu res auctores legi, plaeuisse quibusdam, 
ununi omnino statum esse coniecturalem. Sed 

1 There is no oilier reference to tin's theme. 

2 An adulterer caught flajrantc dclicto might be killed l>y 
the husband or beaten. But to starve him to death in culd 
blood would be illegal. 


BOOK III. vi. 26-29 

under this heading come problems such as that about 
the man who held high revel in a time of pestilence. 1 
Action or 7rpai?, to which they refer questions as to 
whether an act was committed wittingly or unwit- 
tingly, by accident or under compulsion and the like. 
Number, which falls under the category of quantity, 
under which come questions such as whether the 
state owes Thrasybulus thirty talents for ridding it of 
the same number of tyrants. Cause, under which 27 
heading come a large number of disputes, whenever 
a fact is not denied, but the defence pleads that the 
act was just and reasonable. TpoTro? or manner, which 
is involved when a thing is said to have been done in 
one way when it might have been done in another : 
under this category come cases of such as that of the 
adulterer who is scourged with thongs or starved to 
death. 2 Opportunity for action, the meaning of which 
is too obvious to need explanation or illustration : 
the Greeks however call it Ipywv d<op/Aou. These 28 
authorities like Aristotle hold that no question can 
arise which does not come under one of these heads. 
Some subtract two of them, namely number and op- 
portunity, and substitute for what I have called action, 
things, or in Greek Trpay/uara. I have thought it suffi- 
cient to notice these doctrines, for fear someone might 
complain of their omission. Still I do not consider 
that bases are sufficiently determined by these cate- 
gories, nor that the latter cover every possible kind 
of topic, as will be clear to any that read carefully 
what I have to say on both points. For there will be 
found to be many topics that are not covered by 
these categories. 

I find it stated in many authors that some rhe- 29 
toricians only recognise one kind of basis, the con- 



quibus placuerit, neque illi tradiderunt neque ego 
usquam reperire potui. Rationem tamen hanc secuti 
dicuntur, quod res omnis signis colligeretur. Quo 
modo licet qualitatis quoque solum statum faciant, 
quia ubique, qualis sit cuiusque rei natura, quaeri 
potest. Sed utrocunque modo sequetur summa con- 

30 fusio. Neque interest, unum quis statum faciat an 
nullum, si omnes causae sunt condicionis eiusdem. 
Coniectura dicta est a coniectu, id est directione 
quadam rationis ad veritatem, unde etiam somnio- 
rum atque ominum interpretes coniectores vocantur. 
Appellatum tamen est hoc genus varie, sicut sequen- 
tibus apparebit. 

31 Fuerunt, qui duos status facerent : Archedemus 
coniecturalem et finitivum, exclusa qualitate, quia 
sic de ea quaeri existimabat, quid esset iniquum, 
quid iniustum, quid dicto audientem non esse ; 

32 quod vocat de eodem et olio. Huic di versa sententia 
eorum fuit, qui duos quidem status esse voluerunt, 
sed unum infitialem, alterum iuridicialem. Infitialis 
est, quern dicimus coniecturalem, cui ab infitiando 
nomen alii in totum dederunt, alii in partem, quia 
accusatorem coniectura, reum infitiatione uti puta- 

33 verunt. luridicialis est qui Graece dicitur 8iKcuo\o- 
yiKo's. Sed quemadmodum ab Arcbedemo qualitas 
exclusa est, sic ab his repudiata finitio. Nam subii- 

1 Fr. 11, Arnim. 

2 i.e. the question may be stated "Does it conform to 
our conception of injustice or is it something different ? " 
Questions of quality are regarded as questions of definition. 


BOOK III. vi. 29-33 

jectural. But they have not mentioned who these 
rhetoricians are nor have I been able to discover. 
They are however stated to have taken this view on 
the ground that all our knowledge is a matter of 
inference from indications. On this line of reason- 
ing they might regard all bases as qualitative, because 
we inquire into the nature of the subject in every 
case. But the adoption of either view leads to inex- 
tricable confusion. Nor does it matter whether one 30 
recognises only one kind of basis or none at all, if 
all causes are of the same nature. Conieclura is de- 
rived from conicere " to throw together/' because it 
implies the concentration of the reason on the truth. 
For this reason interpreters of dreams and all other 
phenomena are called coniectores "conjecturers." But 
the conjectural basis has received more names than 
one, as will appear in the sequel. 

Some have recognised only two bases. Arche- 31 
demus J for instance admits only the conjectural and 
definitive and refuses to admit the qualitative, since 
he held that questions of quality take the form of 
" What is unfair? what is unjust? what is disobedi- 
ence?" which he terms questions about identity and 
difference. 11 A different view was held by those who 32 
likewise only admitted two bases, but made them 
the negative and juridical. The negative basis is 
identical with that which we call the conjectural, to 
which some give the name of negative absolutely, 
others only in part, these latter holding that conjec- 
ture is employed by the accuser, denial only by the 
accused. The juridical is that known in Greek as 33 
Si/ccuoAoyiKo<?. But just as Archedemus would not 
recognise the qualitative basis, so these reject the 
definitive which they include in the juridical, holding 



ciunt earn iuridiciali, quaerendurnque arbitrantur 

iustumne sit, sacrilegium appellari quod obiiciatur 

34 vel furtum vel amentiam. Qua in opinione Pam- 
philus fuit, sed qualitatem in plura partitus est ; 
plurimi deinceps, mutatis tantum nominibus, in rem 
de qua constet, et in rem de qua non constet. Nam 
est verum nee aliter fieri potest, quam ut aut 
certum sit factum esse quid aut non sit ; si non est 
certum, coniectura sit, si certum est, reliqui status. 

35 Nam idem dicit Apollodorus, cum quaestionem aut 
in rebus extra positis, quibus coniectura explicatur, 
aut in nostris opinionibus existimat positam, quorum 
illud TrpayfjLaTiKor, ^oc Trepl evrotas vocat ; idem, qui 
dirp6\r)7TTov et TrpoXrjTTTLKov dicurit, id est dubium et 

36 praesumptum, quo significatur de quo liquet. Idem 
Theodorus, qui de eo, An sit, et de accidentibus ei 
quod esse constat, id est Trept ovo-cas KCU crv/j-fttpyKOTuv, 
existimat quaeri. Nam in his omnibus prius genus 
coniecturam habet, sequens reliqua. Sed haec reli- 
qua Apollodorus duo vult esse, qualitatem et de 
nomine, id est finitivam ; Theodorus, quid, quale, 

37 quantum, ad aliquid. Sunt et qui de eodem et de 
alio modo qualitatem esse modo finitionem velint. 

1 e.g. circumstantial evidence. 
8 airpo\7]iTr6s lit. = unpresumed. 


BOOK III. vi. 33-37 

that in these questions we have to enquire whether 
it is just that the act with which the accused is 
charged should be called sacrilege or theft or mad- 
ness. Paxnphilus held this opinion but subdivided 34 
quality into several different species. The majority 
of later writers have classified bases as follows, in- 
volving however no more than a change of names : 
those dealing with ascertained facts and those 
dealing with matters where there is a doubt. For 
a thing must either be certain or uncertain : if 
it is uncertain, the basis will be conjectural; if 
certain, it will be some one of the other bases. 
Apollodorussays the same thing when he states that 35 
a question must either lie in things external, 1 which give 
play to conjecture, or in our own opinions : the former 
he calls Trpay/xariKo?, the latter Trepi cvi/ot'as. The same 
is said by those who employ the terms aTrpoA^Tn-os 2 
and 7rpoA.r/7rT(A-o<;, that is to say doubtful and presump- 
tive, by this latter term meaning those facts which 
are beyond a doubt. Theodorus agrees with them, 36 
for he holds that the question is either as to whether 
such and such a thing is really so, or is concerned 
with the accidents of someting which is an admitted 
fact : that is to say it is either Trepi ovo-t'as or 
Trepi o-u/x/?e/5^Korcov. For in all these cases the first 
basis is conjectural, while the second belongs to one 
of the other classes. As for these other classes of 
basis, Apollodorus holds that there are two, one con- 
cerned with quality and the other with the names of 
things, that is to say a definitive basis. Theodorus 
makes them four, concerned with existence, quality, 
quantity and relation. There are some too who make 37 
questions of identity and difference come under the 
head of quality, others who place it under the head 



In duo et Posidonius dividit, vocem et res. In voce 
quaeri putat an significet, quid, quam multa, quo 
modo ? in rebus coniecturam, quod KO.T aio-Orjo-Lv vocat, 
et qualitatem, et finitionem, cui nomen dat KO.T cwoiav, 
et ad aliquid. Unde et ilia divisio est, alia esse 

38 scripta, alia inscripta. Celsus Cornelius duos et ipse 
fecit status generales, an sit? quale sit? Priori 
subiecit finitionem, quia aeq'ie quaeratur an sit 
sacrilegus, qui nihil se sustulisse de templo dicit et 
qui privatam pecuniara confitetur sustulisse. Quali- 
tatem in rem et scriptum dividit. Scripto quattuor 
partes legales, exclusa translatione ; quantitatem et 

39 mentis quaestionera coniecturae subiecit. Est etiam 
alia in duos dividendi status ratio, quae docet, aut 
de substantia controversiam esse, aut de qualitate ; 
ipsam porro qualitatem aut in summo genere con- 

40 sistere aut in succedentibus. De substantia est 
coniectura. Quaestio enini tractatur rei, an facta 
sit ? an fiat ? an futura sit ? interdum etiam mentis ; 
idque melius, quam quod iis placuit, qui statum 
eundem facti nominaverunt, tanquam de praeterito 

1 Fr. p. 232, Bake. 

8 cp. 23 ; translatio and exceptio are virtually identical. 
The four classes are Intention, Ambiguity, Contradictory 
Laws, Syllogism. 

1 i.e. the conjectural basis concerned with questions of fact. 


BOOK III. vi. 37-40 

of definition. Posidonius l divides them into two 
classes, those concerned with words and those con- 
cerned with things. In the first case he thinks that 
the question is whether a word has any meaning ; if 
so, what is its meaning, how many meanings has it, 
and how does it come to mean what it means ? In 
the latter case, we employ conjecture, which he calls 
KO.T' aivOrjo-iv, or inference from perception, quality, 
definition which he calls KO.-T IVVQIOV or rational in- 
ference, and relation. Hence also comes the division 
into things written and unwritten. Even Cornelius 38 
Celsus stated that there were two general bases, one 
concerned with the question whether a thing is, the 
other with the question of what kind it is. He in- 
cluded definition under the first of these, because 
enquiry may equally be made as to whether sacrilege 
has been committed, when a man denies that he 
has stolen anything from a temple, and when he 
admits that he has stolen private money from a 
temple. He divides quality into fact and the letter 
of the law. Under the head of the letter of the law he 
places four classes, excluding questions of compe- 
tence'*: quantity and intention he places under the 
head of conjecture* There is also another method of 39 
dividing bases into two classes : according to this 
disputes are either about substance or quality, while 
quality is treated either in its most general sense or 
in its special senses. Substance is dealt with by con- 40 
jecture : for in enquiring into anything, we ask 
whether it has been done, is being done, or is likely 
to be done, and sometimes also consider itsintention : 
this method is preferable to that adopted by those 
who style the conjectural basis a basis of fact, as 
though we only enquired into the past and what has 



41 tantum et tantum de facto quaereretur. Pars 
qualitatis, quae est de summo genere, raro in indi- 
cium venit, quale est, idne sit honestum, quod vulgo 
laudatur ; succedentium autem aliae de communi 
appellatione, ut sitne sacrilegus, qui pecuniam pri- 
vatam ex templo furatus est ; aut de re denominata, 
ubi et factum esse certum est nee dubitatur, quid sit 
quod factum est. Cui subiacent omnes de honestis, 

42 iustis, utilibus quaestiones. His etiam ceteri status 
contineri dicuntur, quia et quantitas modo ad con- 
iecturam referatur, ut maiorne sol quam terra? modo 
ad qualitatem, quanta poena quempiam quantove 
praemio sit affici iustum ? et translatio versetur circa 

43 qualitatem, et definitio pars sit translationis ; quin et 
contrariae leges et ratiocinativus status, id est svllo- 
gismos, et plerumque scripti et voluntatis aequo 
nitantur (nisi quod hie tertius aliquando coniec- 
turam accipit, quid senserit legis constitutor) ; ambi- 
guitatem vero semper coniectura explicari necesse 
sit,, quia, cum sit manifestum, verborum intellectum 
esse duplicem, de sola quaeritur voluntate. 

44 A plurimis tres sunt facti generales status, quibus 
et Cicero in Oratore utitur, et omnia, quae aut in 
controversiam aut in contentionem veniant, contineri 

1 See 11 and the case cited in 38, where the accused 
would argue that he was guilty not of sacrilege, but of 
simple theft. 

1 When we argue that a certain case comes under a cer- 
tain law. cp. 15. z Or. xiv. 45. 


BOOK III. vi. 40-44 

actually been done. The consideration of quality 41 
under its most general aspect rarely comes up in 
the courts ; I refer to questions such as " whether 
that is honourable which is generally praised." With 
regard to the special aspects of quality, questions 
sometimes occur about some common term, such as 
whether sacrilege has been committed when a man 
lias stolen private money from a temple, or about 
some act with a definite name, when there is no 
doubt either as to the commission or the nature of 
the act. Under this heading come all questions 
about what is honourable, just or expedient. These 42 
bases are said to contain others as well, because 
quantity is sometimes concerned with conjectural bases, 
as in the question whether the sun is bigger than 
the earth, and sometimes with qualitative bases, as in 
the question what reward or punishment it would 
be just to assign to some particular person, while 
questions of competence undoubtedly are concerned 
with quality, and definition with questions of compe- 
tence.* Further contradicto^ laws and the ratiocinoiive 43 
basis or syllogism* and the majority of questions deal- 
ing with the letter of the law and intention are based 
on equity, with the exception that this last question 
sometimes admits of conjecture as, for instance, con- 
cerning the intentions of the legislator : ambiguity, 
however, must always be explained by conjecture, 
because as it is clear that the words admit of two 
interpretations the only question is as to the 

A large number of writers recognise general bases ; 44 
Cicero adopts them in his Orator, 3 and holds that 
everything that can form the subject of dispute or 
discussion is covered by the three questions, whether 


putat, >itne .' Quid sit ? Quale sit ? quorum nomina 

45 apertiora sunt, quam ut dicenda sint. Idem 1 Pa- 
trocles sentit. Tres fecit et M. Antonius his quidem 
verbis : Paucae res sunt, quibus ex rebus omnes orationes 
nascuntur, factum non factum, ius iniuria, bonum malum. 
Sed quoniam. quod iure dicimur fecisse, non hunc 
solum intellectum habet, ut lege, sed ilium quoque, 
ut iuste fecisse videamur, secuti Antonium apertius 
voluerunt eosdem status distinguere. Itaque dixe- 
runt coniecturalem, legalem, iuridicialem ; qui et 

46 Verginio placent. Horum deinde fecerunt species, 
ita ut legali subiicerent finitionem et alios, qui ex 
scripto ducuntur,. legum contrariarum,, quae diri.vofj.La. 
dicitur, et scripti et sententiae vel voluntatis, id est 
Kara p-qrov Kal buivoiav, et LLfrdXfj^Lr, quam nos varie 
translativam^ transumptivam, transpositivam voca- 
muSj a-vXXoyuFfjLoVj quern accipirnus ratiocinativum 
vel collectivum^ ambignitatiSj quae o^^t/5o/\t'a nomi- 
natur ; quos posui, quia et ipsi a plerisque status 
appellantur, cum quibusdam legales potius quae- 
stiones eas dici placuerit. 

47 Quattuor fecit Athenaeus, -porpt-TLKTji' crraVu' vel 
Trapop/j.-r]-iKijv, id est exhortativum^, qui suasoriae est 
proprius ; crivreAtK/n ; qua coniecturam significari 
magis ex his, quae sequuntur, quam ex ipso nomine 

1 latroclea. B. 

1 Conjectural, definitive, and qualitative. 
3 Concerned with questions of competence. 

43 2 

BOOK III. vi. 44-47 

it is, n-hat it is, and of jvhat kind il is. The names 
of these three bases are too obvious for mention. 1 
The same view is asserted by Patrocles. Marcus 43 
Antonius stated that there were three bases 
in the following words : "The things which form 
the ground of every speech are few and are as 
follows : ' Was a thing done or not done ? ' ' Was it 
just or unjust ? ' ' Was it good or bad ? ' But since, 
when we are said to have been justified in doing 
anything, this does not merely mean that our action 
was legal, but further implies that it was just, those 
who follow Antonius attempt to differentiate these 
bases with greater exactness. They therefore called 
them conjectural, legal and juridical, a division which 
meets with the approval of Verginius as well. These 46 
they then subdivided into species, placing definition 
under the head of the legal basis, together with all 
others which are concerned with the letter of the law : 
such as that of contradictory larvs, or cuTtvoyLua, that 
which rests on the letter of the la?v and on meaning 
or intention (which the Greeks call Kara prjrov Kal 
Stavotav) and /^era/X^i/as to which latter we give various 
names, styling it the translatiie, transumptive or trans- 
positiie basis-; the syllogis?n, which we call the 
ratiocinatiie or deductive basis ; and those which turn 
on ambiguity or a^L^oXia. I mention these because 
they are called bases by most writers, though some 
prefer to call them legal questions. 

Athenaeus laid down that there were four bases : 47 

the TTpOTptTTTlKJl O"TaCT(5 Or TTapOpfJLTJTLKlj, that is, tllC 

hortative, which is peculiar to deliberative themes ; 
the o-uvTtXtKr;, 3 which is shown to be the conjectural, not 
so much from the name itself, but from what 

lit. = contributory. 



apparet ; TU7mAA.a/<TtK-/^', ea finitio est, mutatione eriim 
nominis constat ; iuridicialem, eadem appellatione 
Graeca qua ceteri usus. Nam est, ut dixi, multa in 

48 nominibus differentia. Sunt qui vTraAAa/cTiK^v trans- 
lationem esse existiment, secuti lianc mutationis 
significationem. Fecerunt alii totidem status, sed 
alios, An sit ? Quid sit ? Quale sit ? Quantum 

49 sit ? ut Caecilius et Theon. Aristoteles in rheto- 
ricis, An sit, Quale, Quantum, et Quam multum sit? 
quaerendum putat. Quodam tamen loco iinitionis 
quoque vim intelligit, quo dicit quaedam sic defendi, 
Sustuli, sed non furtum fed ; Percussi, scd non iniunam 

60 fed, Posuerat et Cicero in libris rhetoricis, facti, 
nominis, generis, actionis ; ut in facto coniectura, in 
nomine finitio, in genere qualitas, in actione ius in- 
telligeretur. luri subiecerat translationem. Verum 
hie legales quoque quaestiones alio loco tractat ut 
species actionis. 

51 Fuerunt qui facerent quinque, coniecturam, finitio- 
nem, qualitatem, quantitatem, ad aliquid. Theodo- 
rus quoque, ut dixi, iisdem generalibus capitibus 
utitur, An sit? Quid sit? Quale sit? Quantum 
sit ? Ad aliquid. Hoc ultimum maxime in com- 
parative genere versari putat, quoniam melius ac 

1 The defendant admits the act, but gives it a different 
name, e.g. theft, not 3acrilege. vna\\aKTiK-h -= changing. 
7 SiKatoXuytKos. 3 dice. fr. 49, Burkh. 

4 Ar. Rhet. 14166: 1374 a. 6 de Inv. i. viii. 10. 
6 Part. Or. 31 and 38. 7 3G. 


BOOK III. vi. 47-51 

follows ; the v7ra\\a.KTtKr) or definitive, for it consists 
in a change of terms l ; and the juridical to which 
he gives the name employed by other Greek writers. 2 
For, as I have said, there is a great variety in the 
names employed. There are some who, arguing from 48 
its meaning of change, hold that { TroAAaKTt/o; is the 
translative basis, which is concerned with competence. 
Others, Caecilius 3 and Theon for instance, hold 
that there are the same number of bases, but make 
them of a different kind, namely, those covered by 
the questions whether a thing is, what it is, of what 
kind it is and how great it is. Aristotle 4 in his 49 
Rhetoric states that all enquiry turns on the ques- 
tions whether a thing is, of what kind it is, how great 
it is, and of how many parts it consists. In one 
place however he recognises the force of definition 
as well, saying that certain points are defended 
on the following lines : " I took it, but did not 
steal it." "I struck him, but did not commit an 
assault." Cicero 5 again in his Rhetorica makes the 50 
number of bases to be four, namely those concerned 
with fact, names, kinds, and Legal action, that is to say 
conjecture is concerned with fact, definition with 
names, quality with kinds, and lam with action : 
under this latter head of law he included ques- 
tions of competence. But in another passage he 
treats c legal questions as a species of action. 

Some writers have held that there arejive bases : 51 
the conjectural, definitive, qualitative, quantitative and 
relative. Theodorus, also, as I have said, 7 adopts the 
same number of general heads, whether a thing is, what 
it is, of what kind it is, how great it is, and to what it refers. 
The last he considers to be chiefly concerned with 
comparison, since better and worse, greater and less 



peius, maius et minus nisi alio relata non intelligun- 

52 tur. Sed in illas quoque translativas, ut supra sig- 
nificavi, quaestiones incidit, An huic ius agendi sit? 
vel, facere aliquid ccnveniat ? An contra hunc? 
An hoc tempore ? An sic ? omnia enim ista referri 

53 ad aliquid necesse est. Alii sex status putant, con- 
iecturam, quam yeWo-iv vocant, et qualitatem, et 
proprietatern, id est t'Stor^ra, quo verbo finitio osten- 
ditur, et quantitatem, quam diW dicunt, et com- 
parationem, et translationem, cuius adhuc novum 
nomen inventum est /xcrao-rao-is ; novum, inquam, in 
statu, alioqui ab Hermagora inter species iuridiciales 

54 usitatum. Aliis septem esse placuit ; a quibus nee 
translatio nee quantitas nee comparatio recepta est, 
sed in horum trium locum subditae quattuor legales 

55 adiectaeque tribus illis rationalibus. Alii pervene- 
runt usque ad octo, translatione ad septem superiores 
adiecta. A quibusdam deinde divisa ratio est, ut 
status rationales appellarent, quaestiones (quemad- 
modum supra dixi) legales, ut in illis de re, in his de 
scripto quaereretur. Quidam in diversum hos status 

56 esse, illas quaestiones maluerunt. Sed alii rationales 
tres putaverunt, An sit ? Quid sit ? Quale sit ? 
Hermagoras solus quattuor, coniecturam, proprieta- 
tem, translationem, qualitatem, quam per accideritia, 

1 See 46. 

2 Conjectural, definitive, qualitative. 

3 46. 

43 6 

BOOK III. vi. 51-56 

are meaningless terms unless referred to some 
standard. But questions of relation, as I have already 52 
pointed out, enter also into translative questions, that 
is, questions of competence) since in cases such as 
" Has this man a right to bring an action? " or " Is 
it fitting that he should do such and such a thing, 
or against this man, or at this time, or in this 
manner ? ' For all these questions must be referred 
to a certain standard. Others hold that there are 53 
six bases : conjecture or yeVecris, quality, particularity or 
tSiorr/s, by which word they mean definition, quantity 
or ai'a, comparison and competence, for which a new 
term has been found in /xeTatrracris ; I call it new 
when applied to a basis, for Hermagoras employs it 
to describe a species of juridical question. Others 54 
think there are seven, while refusing to recognise 
competence, quantity or comparison, in place of which 
they substitute four legal bases, 1 completing the 
seven by the addition of those three which they call 
rational? Others again make eight by the addition 65 
of competence to the above-mentioned seven. Some 
on the other hand have introduced a fresh method 
of division, reserving the name of bases for the 
rational, and giving the name of questions to the legal, 
as I mentioned above, 3 since in the former the 
problem is concerned with facts, in the latter with 
the letter of the law. Some on the contrary reverse 
this nomenclature calling the legal questions bases 
and the rational grounds questions. But others have 56 
thought that there are only three rational bases, 
covered by the questions whether a thing is, what it is, 
and of what kind it is ? Hermagoras is alone in 
thinking that there are four, namely conjecture, par- 
ticularity, competence, and quality : to the latter he 



id est Kara tru/AjSe/^KoSj vocat, hac interpretatione, 
an illi accidat viro bono esse, vel malo. Hanc ita 
dividit, de appetendis et fugiendis, quac est pars 
51 deliberative ; de persona, ea ostenditur laudativa ; 
negotialeni; quam Trpay/xaTt/o^ vocat, in qua de rebus 
ipsis quaeritur, remoto personarum complexu, ut, 
Sitne liber qui est in assertione, an divitiae super- 
biam pariant, an iustum quid, an bonum sit. 
luridicialem, in qua fere eadeni sed certis destina- 
tisque personis quaerantur : an ille iuste hoc fecerit, 

58 vel bene. Nee me fall it, in prinio Ciceronis rheto- 
rico aliam esse loci negotialis interpretationem, cum 
ita scriptum sit : Negotialis est, in qua, quid iuris ex 
chili more et aequitate sit, consideratur ; cui diligentiae 

59 praeesse apud nos iurisconsulti existimantur. Sed quod 
ipsius de his libris indicium fuerit, supra dixi. Sunt 
enim velut regestae in hos commentaries, quos ado- 
lescens deduxerat, scholae, et si qua est in his culpa, 
tradentis est, sive eum movit id, quod Hermagoras 
prima in hoc loco posuit exempla ex quaestionibus 
iuris, sive quod Gra-eci pay/xariKovs vacant iuris in- 

60 terpretes. Sed Cicero quidem his pulcherrimos illos 

1 asscrtio = a trial in which the question of a person's 
liberty is involved. Wlien waiting trial, this person is 

described as in assert ionc. 

2 de Inv. i. xi. 14. 3 ISee in. v. 15. 


BOOK III. vi. 56-60 

appends the phrase Kara. a-v/j./StfiyKos, " according to 
its accidents," illustrating his meaning by putting a 
case where it is enquired whether a man happen to 
be good or bad. Pie then subdivides qualify into 
four species : first that which is concerned with 
things to be sought or avoided, which belongs to de- 
liberative oratory : secondly those concerned nith 57 
persons, by which he indicates panegyric : thirdly the 
practical or pragmatic, which is concerned with things 
in general without reference to persons, and may be 
illustrated by questions such as whether he is free 
who is claimed as a slave and waiting the trial of his 
case/ whether riches beget insolence, and whether a 
thing is just or good ; lastly there is the juridical 
species, under which practically the same questions 
arise, but in relation to certain definite persons, as for 
instance when it is asked whether that particular man 
has done well or ill. I am aware that another explana- 58 
tion is given by Cicero in the first book of his 
Rhetorica 2 of the species known as practical, 
where he says that it is "the department under 
which we consider what is right according to civil 
usage and equity : this department is regarded by 
us as the special sphere of the lawyer." But I have 59 
already mentioned 3 what his opinion was about this 
particular work. The Rhetorica are simply a collec- 
tion of school-notes on rhetoric which he worked 
up into this treatise while quite a young man. Such 
faults as they possess are due to his instructor. In the 
present instance he may have been influenced by the 
fact that the first examples given by Hermagoras of 
this species are drawn from legal questions, or by the 
fact that the Greeks call interpreters of the law 

But for these early efforts Cicero substi- 60 



de Oratore substituit, ideoque culpari, tanquam falsa 
praecipiat, non potest. Nos ad Hermagoran. Trans 
lationem hie primus omnium tradidit, quanquam 
semina eius quaedam citra nomen ipsum apud Aris- 

61 totelen reperiuntur. Legales autem quaestiones has 
fecit, scripti et voluntatis (quam ipse vocat Kara p-rjrov 
Kal v7reaipe<r', id est dictum et exceptionem, quorum 
prius ei cum omnibus commune est, exceptionis 
nomen minus usitatum), ratiocinativum,ambiguitatis, 

62 legum contrariarum. Albutius eadem divisione usus 
detrahit translationem, subiiciens earn iuridiciali. 
In legalibus quoque quaestionibus nullum putat esse, 
qui dicatur ratiocinativus. Scio plura inventuros 
adhuc, qui legere antiquos studiosius volent, sed ne 
haec quoque excesserint modum vereor. 

63 Ipse me paulum in alia, quam prius habuerim, 
opinione nunc esse confiteor. Et fortasse tutissi- 
mum erat famae modo studenti nihil ex eo mutare, 
quod multis annis non sensissem modo, verum etiam 

64 approbassem. Sed non sustineo esse conscius mihi 
dissimulati (in eo praesertim opere, quod ad bonorum 
iuvenum aliquam utilitatem componimus) in ulla 
parte iudicii mei. Nam et Hippocrates, clarus arte 
medicinae, videtur honestissime fecisse,quod quosdam 

1 RheL n. xv. 8. a Epidem. v. 14. 


BOOK III. vi. 60-64 

tuted his splendid de Oratore and therefore cannot be 
blamed for giving false instruction. I will now 
return to Hermagoras. He was the first rhetorician 
to teach that there was a basis concerned with com- 
petence, although the elements of this doctrine are 
found in Aristotle, 1 without however any mention of 
the name. The legal questions were according to 61 
Hermagoras of five kinds. First the letter of the 
law and its intention ; the names which he gives to 
these are Kara prjrov and U7reai'pecrts, that is to say 
the letter of the law and the exceptions thereto : the 
first of these classes is found in all writers, but the 
term exception is less in use. The number is 
completed by the ratiocinative basis and those 
dealing with ambiguity and contradictory laws. Albutius 62 
adopts this classification, but eliminates competence, 
including it under the juridical basis. Further he 
holds that in legal questions there is no ratiocinative 
basis. I know that those who are prepared to 
read ancient writers on rhetoric more carefully than 
I have, will be able to discover yet more on this 
subject, but I fear that I may have been too lengthy 
even in saying what I have said. 

I must admit that I am now inclined to take a 63 
different view from that which I once held. It would 
perhaps be safer for my reputation if I were to make 
no modification in views which I not only held for so 
many years, but of which I expressed my open appro- 
bation. But I cannot bear to be thought guilty of 64 
concealment of the truth as regards any portion of 
my views, more especially in a work designed for the 
profit of young men of sound disposition. For Hippo- 
crates, 2 the great physician, in my opinion took the 
most honourable course in acknowledging some of 



errores suos, ne poster! errarent, confessus est ; et 
M. Tullius non dabitavit aliquos iam editos libros 
aliis postea scriptis ipse damnare, sicut Catulum 
atque Lucullum et hos ipsos, de quibus niodo sum 

65 locutus, artis rhetoricae. Etenim supervacuus foret 
in studiis longior labor, si nihil liceret melius invenire 
praeteritis. Neque tamen quidquam ex iis, quae 
turn praecepi, supervacuum fuit ; ad easdem enim 
particulas liaec quoque, quae mine praecipiam, re- 
vertentur ; ita neminem didicisse poeniteat, colligere 
tantum eadem ac disponere paulo significantius conor. 
Omnibus autem satisfaetum volo, non me hoc serius 

66 demonstrare aliis, quam mihi ipse persuaserim. Se- 
cundum plurimos auctores servabam tris rationales 
status, . coniecturam, qualitatem, finitionem, unum 
legalem. Hi mihi status generales erant. Legalem 
in quinque species partiebar, script! et voluntatis, 
legum contrariarum, collectivuin, ambiguitatis, trans- 

67 lationis. Nunc quartum ex generalibus intelligo 
posse removed ; sufficit enim prima divisio, qua 
diximus alios rationales, alios legales esse ; ita non 
erit status, sed quaestionuin genus ; alioqui et ratio- 

68 nalis status esset. Ex iis etiam, quos speciales 
vocabam, removi translationem, frequenter quidem 
(sicut omnes qui me secuti sunt memiiiisse possunt) 
testatus et in ipsis etiam illis sermonibus me nolente 

1 The two books of tlie first edition of the Academica. 
3 i.e. the Rhetorica, better known as de Inventione. 
3 See m. v. 4. * See I. Proem. 7. 


BOOK III. vi. 64-68 

his errors to prevent those who came after from 
being led astray, while Cicero had no hesitation about 
condemning some of his earlier works in books which 
he published later : I refer to his condemnation of 
his Lucullus and Catulus l and the books ' 2 on rhetoric 
which I have already mentioned. Indeed we should 65 
have no justification for protracting our studies if we 
were forbidden to improve upon our original views. 
Still none of my past teaching was superfluous : for 
the views which I am now going to produce will be 
found to be based on the same principles, and conse- 
quently no one need be sorry to have attended my 
lectures, since all that I am now attempting to do is to 
collect and rearrange my original views so that they 
may be somewhat more instructive. But I wish to 
satisfy everybody and not to lay myself open to the 
accusation that I have allowed a long time to elapse 
between the formation and publication of my views. 
I used to follow the majority of authorities in ad- 66 
hering to three rational bases, the conjectural, qualita- 
tive and definitive, and to one legal basis. 3 These were 
my general bases. The legal basis I divided into five 
species, dealing with the letter of the law and intention, 
contradictory laws, the syllogism, ambiguity and compe- 
tence. It is now clear to me that the fourth of the 67 
general bases may be removed, since the original 
division which I made into rational and legal bases is 
sufficient. The fourth therefore will not be a basis, 
but a kind of question ; if it were not, it would form 
one of the rational bases. Further I have removed 68 
competence from those which I called species. For I 
often asserted, as all who have attended my lectures 
will remember, and even those discourses which 
were published against my will 4 included the state- 



vulgatis hoc tamen complexus, vix in ulla contro- 
versia translationis statum posse reperiri, ut non et 
alius in eadern recte dici videretur, ideoque a qui- 

69 busdam eum exclusum. Neque ignore multa trans- 
ferri, cum in omnibus fere causis, in quibus cecidisse 
quis formula dicitur, hae sint quaestiones, an huic, 
an cum hoc, an hac lege, an apud hunc, an hoc tem- 

70 pore liceat agere ? et si qua sunt talia. Sed per- 
sonae, tempora, actiones ceteraque propter aliquam 
causam transferuntur ; ita non est in translatione 
quaestio sed in eo, propter quod transferuntur : Non 
debes apud praetorem petere Jidei commissum, sed apud 
consules, maior enim praetoria cognitione summa est. 
Quaeritur, an maior summa sit, facti controversia 

71 est. Non licet tibi agere niecum, cognitor enim fieri non 
potuisli : iudicatio, an potuerit. Non debuisli interdi- 
cere sed petere : an recte interdictum sit, ambigitur. 

72 Quae omnia succedunt legitimis quaestionibus. An 
non praescriptiones (etiam in quibus maxime videtur 
manifesta translatio) easdem omnes species habent, 

8C. by getting an order for restitution. 

BOOK III. vi. 68-72 

ment, that the basis concerned with competence 
hardly ever occurs in any dispute under such circum- 
stances that it cannot more correctly be given some 
other name, and that consequently some rhetoricians 
exclude it from their list of bases. I am, however, 69 
well aware that the point of competence is raised in 
many cases, since in practically every case in which 
a party is said to have been ruled out of court through 
some error of form, questions such as the following 
arise : whether it was lawful for this person to bring 
an action, or to bring it against some particular 
person, or under a given law, or in such a court, or 
at such a time, and so on. But the question of com- 70 
petence as regards persons, times, legal actions and 
the rest originates in some pre-existent cause : 
the question turns therefore not on competence 
itself, but on the cause with which the point of 
competence originates. " You ought to demand the 
return of a deposit not before the praetor but before 
the consuls, as the sum is too large to come under 
the praetor's jurisdiction." The question then arises 
whether the sum is too large, and the dispute is one 
of fact. " You have no right to bring an action against 71 
me, as it is impossible for you to have been appointed 
to represent the actual plaintiff." It then has to be 
decided whether he could have been so appointed. 
" You ought not to have proceeded by interdict, 1 but 
to have put in a plea for possession." The point 
in doubt is whether the interdict is legal. All these 
points fall under the head of legal questions. For do 72 
not even those special pleas, in which questions of 
competence make themselves most evident, give rise to 
the same species of question as those laws under 
which the action is brought, so that the enquiry is 



quas eae leges, quibus agitur, ut aut de nomine aut 
scripto et sententia vel ratiociiiatione quaeratur? 
Deinde status ex quaestione oritur ; translatio non 
habet quaestionem, de qua contendit orator, sed 

73 propter quam contendit. Hoc apertius, Occidisti 
hominein, Non occidi ; quaestio, an occiderit, status 
coniectura. Non est tale, Hdbeo ius actionis, Non 
habes, ut sit quaestio, an habeat, et inde status. 
Accipiat enim actionern necne, ad eventum pertinet, 
non ad causam, et ad id, quod pronuntiat index, non 

74 id, propter quod pronuntiat. Hoc illi simile est, 
Puniendus es, Xon sum ; videbit iudex, an puniendus 
sit. Sed non hie erit quaestio nee hie status. LJbi 
ergo ? Puniendus es, hominem occidisti ; Non occidi : 
An occiderit. Honorandus sum, Non es ; num statum 
habet? non, ut puto. Honorandus sum, tjida tyrannum 

75 occidi; Non occidisti ; quaestio et status. Similiter, 
Non recte agis, Rccte ago non habet statum. Ubi est 
ergo? Non recte agis ignominiosus. Quaeritur, an 

1 e.g. murder or manslaughter : sacrilege or theft. 

- See 70. 

8 sc. the conjectural. 


BOOK III. vi. 72-75 

really concerned with the name of a given act, 1 with 
the letter of the law and its meaning, or with some- 
thing that requires to be settled by argument ? The 
basis originates from the question, and in cases of 
competence it is not the question concerning which 
the advocate argues that is involved, but the question 
on account of which lie argues. 2 An examplewill make 73 
this clearer. " You have killed a man." " I did not kill 
him." The question is whether he has killed him ; 
the basis is the conjectural. But the following case is 
very different. " I have the right to bring this action." 
" You have not the right." The question is whether he 
has the right,and it is from this thatwe derive the basis. 
For whether he is allowed the right or not depends 
on the event, not on the cause itself, and on the de- 
cision of the judge, not on that on account of which 
he gives such a decision. The following is a similar 74 
example. " You ought to be punished." " I ought 
not." The judge will decide whether he should be 
punished, but it is not with this that the question or 
the basis is concerned. Where then does the question 
lie ? " You ought to be punished, for you have killed 
a man." "1 did not kill him." The question is 
whether he killed him. " I ought to receive some 
honour." "You ought not." Does this involve a 
basis ? I think not. " I ought to receive some honour 
for killino- a tyrant." "You did not kill him.' Here 


there is a question and a basis 3 as well. So, too, " You 75 
are not entitled to bring this action," "I have," in- 
volves no basis. Where then is it to be found ? " You 
have no right to bring this action, because you have 
been deprived of civil rights." In this case the 
question is whether he has been so deprived, or 
whether loss of civil rights debars a person from 



ignominiosus sit ; aut, an agere ignominioso liceat ; 
quaestiones et status. Ergo translativum genus 

76 causae ut comparativum et mutuae accusationis. At 
enim simile est illi" Habeo ius, Non habes," " Occidisti, 
Recte occidi." Non nego, sed nee haec res statum 
facit. Non enim sunt hae propositiones (alioqui 
causa non explicabitur), sed, cum suis rationibus. 
Scelus commisit Horalius, soj'orem enim occidit. Non 
commisit, debuit enim occidere earn, quae hostis mortem 
maerebal. Quaestio, an haec iusta causa ; ita qua- 

77 litas. Et similiter in translatione, Non habes ins 
abdicandij quiet ignominioso non est actio. Habeo ius, 
quia abdicatio actio non est. Quaeritur, quid sit actio : 
finiemus Non licet abdicare /ilium syllogismo. Item 
cetera per onmes et rationales et legales status. 

78 Nee ignore fuisse quosdam, qui translationem in 
rationali quoque genere ponerent hoc modo, Homi- 
nem occidi, iussus ab imperatorc. Dona templi cogenti 
tyranno dcdi. Deserui tempestatibiiSyJiuminibus, valetu- 
dine impeditus. Id est^ non per me stetit, sed per illud. 

79 A quibus etiam liberius dissentio. Non enim actio 
transfertur sed causa facti, quod accidit paene in omni 

1 sc. the conjectural or definitive basis and the qualitative. 

2 See in. x. 3 and 4. 

8 Disinheritance could only be effected by legal action. 
4 See 15. 


BOOK III. vi. 75-79 

bringing an action. Here on the other hand we find 
both questions and bases. 1 It is therefore to kinds of 
causes, not to bases that the term competence applies : 
other kinds of cause are the comparative and the recri- 
minatory.^ "But/' it is urged, "the case ' I have a 70 
right/ ' You have not/ is similar to ' You have killed 
a man/ ' I was justified in so doing.' I do not deny 
it, but this does not make it a basis. For these state- 
ments are not propositions until the reasons for them 
are added. If they were propositions as they stand, 
the case could not proceed. " Horatius has committed 
a crime, for he has killed his sister." " He has not 
committed a crime, since it was his duty to kill her 
for mourning the death of an enemy." The question 
is whether this was a justifiable reason, and the basis 
is one of quality. So too as regards competence. "You 77 
have no right to disinherit, since a person who has 
been deprived of civil rights is not allowed to take 
legal action." 3 "I have the right, since disinheriting 
is not legal action." The question here is what is legal 
action. And we shall arrive at the conclusion that the 
son's disinheritance is unlawful, by use of the syllogism.* 
The case will be similar with all the rational and legal 
bases. I am aware that there have been some who 78 
placed competence among rational bases, using as 
illustrations cases such as, "I killed a man under 
orders from my general," " I gave the votive offerings 
in a temple to a tyrant under compulsion," " I de- 
serted owing to the fact that storms or floods or ill- 
health prevented me from rejoining." That is to say 
it was not due to me, but some external cause. From 79 
these writers I differ even more widely : for it is not 


the nature of the legal action itself which is involved 
in the question of competence^ but the cause of the act ; 



defensione. Delude is, qui tali utitur patrocinio, 
non recedit a forma qualitatis, dicit enim, se culpa 
vacare ; ut magis qualitatis duplex ratio facienda sit, 
altera qua et factum defenditur, altera qua tantum 

80 Credendum est igitur his, quorum auctoritatem 
secutus est Cicero, tria esse, quae in omni disputa- 
tione quaerantur, an sit, quid sit, quale sit? quod 
ipsa nobis etiam natura praescribit. Nam primum 
oportet subesse aliquid, de quo ambigitur ; quod, 
quid sit et quale sit, certe non potest aestimari, nisi 
prius esse constiterit, ideoque ea prima quaestio. 

81 Sed non statim, quod esse manifestum est, etiam 
quid sit, apparet. Hoc quoque constitute novissima 
qualitas superest, neque his exploratis aliud est ultra. 
His infinitae quaestiones, his finitae continentur; 
horum aliqua in demonstrativa, deliberativa, iudiciali 

82 materia utique tractatur. Haec rursus iudiciales 
causas et rationali parte et legali continent ; neque 
enim ulla iuris disceptatio nisi finitione, qualitate, 

83 coniectura potest explicari. Sed instituentibus rudes 
non erit inutilis latius primo fusa ratio et, si non 
statim rectissima linea tensa, facilior tamen et aper- 
tior via. Discant igitur ante omnia quad riperti tarn 

Absolute, when the deed is shown to be right. (B) 
Relative, when the act is not defended, but the agent is 
cleared ut" the guilt of the act. 
2 See 44. 


BOOK III. vi. 79-83 

and this is the case in almost every defence. Finally 
he who adopts this line of defence, does not thereby 
abandon the qualitative basis ; for he states that he him- 
self is free from blame, so that we really should 
differentiate between two kinds of quality, 1 one of 
which comes into play when both the accused person 
and his act are defended, and the other when the 
accused person alone is defended. 

We must therefore accept the view of the author!- 80 
ties followed by Cicero/ 2 to the effect that there are 
three things on which enquiry is made in every case : 
we ask whether a thing is, what it is, and of what kind it 
is. Nature herself imposes this upon us. For first of all 
there must be some subject for the question, since we 
cannot possibly determine what a thing is, or of what 
kind it is, until we have first ascertained whether it is, 
and therefore the first question raised is whether it is. 
But even when it is clear that a thing is, it is not 81 
immediately obvious what it is. And when we have 
decided what it is, there remains the question of its 
quality. These three points once ascertained, there 
is no further question to ask. These heads cover both 
definite and indefinite questions. One or more of them 
is discussed in every demonstrative, deliberative or 
forensic theme. These heads again cover all cases in 82 
the courts, whether we regard them from the point 
of view of rational or legal questions. For no legal 
problem can be settled save by the aid of definition, 
quality and conjecture. Those, however, who are 83 
engaged in instructing the ignorant will find it useful 
at first to adopt a slightly less rigid method : the road 
will not be absolutely straight to begin with, but it 
will be more open and will provide easier going. I 
would have them therefore learn above all things 


in omnibus causis esse rationem, quam primam in- 
tueri debeat qui acturus est. Nam, ut a defensore 
potissimum incipiam, longe fortissima tuendi se ratio 
est, si quod obiicitur negari potest ; proxima, si non 
id, quod obiicitur, fact uiu esse dicitur ; tertia hones- 
tissima, qua recte factum defenditur. Quibus si 
deficiamur, ultima quidem sed iam sola superest 
salus aliquo iuris adiutorio elabendi ex crimine, quod 
neque negari neque defendi potest, ut non videatur 

84 iure actio intendi. Hinc illae quaestiones sive 
actiones sive translationes. Sunt enim quaedam 
non laudabilia non natura sed iure concessa, ut in 
XII tabulis debitoris corpus inter creditores dividi 
licuit, quam legem mos publicus repudiavit ; et 
aliquid aequum sed prohibitum iure, ut libertas tes- 

85 tamentorum. Accusatori nihilo plura intuenda sunt, 
ut probet factum esse, hoc esse factum, non recte 
factum, iure se intendere. Ita circa species easdem 
Us omnis versabitur translatis tantum aliquando par- 
tibus, ut in causis, quibus de praemio agitur, recte 
factum petitor probat. 

86 Haec quattuor velut proposita formaeque actionis, 
quae turn generales status vocabam, in duo (ut 

1 e.g. that the legal heir must receive at least a quarter of 
the property. 


BOOK III. vi. 83-86 

that there are four different methods which may be 
employed in every case, and lie who is going to plead 
should study them as first essentials. For, to begin 
with the defendant, far the strongest method of self- 
defence is, if possible, to deny the charge. The 
second best is when it is possible to reply that the 
particular act with which you are charged was never 
committed. The third and most honourable is to 
maintain that the act was justifiable. If none of 
these lines of defence are feasible, there remains the 
last and only hope of safety : if it is impossible either 
to deny the charge or justify the act, we must evade 
the charge with the aid of some point of law, making 
it appear that the action has been brought against us 
illegally. Hence arise those questions of legal action 84 
or competence. For there are some things, which, 
although not laudable in themselves, are yet permit- 
ted by law ; witness the passage in the Twelve Tables 
authorising creditors to divide up a debtor's body 
amongst themselves, a law which is repudiated by 
public custom. There are also certain things which 
although equitable are prohibited by law ; witness the 
restrictions placed on testamentary disposition. 1 The 85 
accuser likewise has four things which he must keep 
in mind : he must prove that something was done, 
that a particular act was done, that it was wrongly 
done, and that he brings his charge according to law. 
Thus every cause will turn on the same sorts of 
questions, though the parts of plaintiff and defendant 
will sometimes be interchanged : for instance in the 
case of a claim for a reward, it will be the plaintiffs 
task to show that what was done was right. 

These four schemes or forms of action which I then 86 
called general bases fall into two classes as I have 



ostendi) genera discedunt rationale et legale. Ra- 
tionale simplicius est, quia ipsius tan turn naturae 
contemplatione constat. Itaque in eo satis est os- 

87 tendisse coniecturam, rinitionem, qualitatem. Lega- 
lium pi tires sint species necesse est. propterea quod 
multae sunt leges et varias habent formas. Alia est 
cuius verbis nitimur, alia cuius voluntate, alias nobis, 
cum ipsi nullam habeamuSj aditingimus, alias inter se 

88 comparamus, alias in diversum interpretamur. Sic 
naseuntur haec velut simulacra ex illis tribus, interim 
simplicia, interim et mixta, propriam tamen faciem 
ostendentia, tit scripti et voluntatis, qtiae sine dubio 
aut qualitate aut coniectura continetur, et syllogis- 
mos_, qui est maxima qualitatis, et leges contrariae, 
quae iisdem, quibus scri])tum et voluntas, constant, 
et dfji<f)i/3o\La, quae semj)er coniectura explicatur. 

89 Finitio quoque utrique generi, quodqtie rerum quod- 
que scripti contemplatione constat, communis est. 
Haec omnia, etiavnsi in illos tres status veniunt, 
tamen, quia (ut dixi) habent aliquid velut proprium, 
videntur demonstranda discentibus, et permittendum 
ea dicere vel status legales vel quaestiones vel capita 
quaedam minora, dum sciant, nihil ne in his quidem 

90 praeter tria, quae praediximuSj quaeri. At Quan- 
tum ? et Quam multum ? et Ad aliquid et, ut iion- 

1 67, and nr. v. 4. 

2 37. 8 SO, 


BOOK III. vi. 86-90 

shown, 1 namely, the rational and the legal. The 
rational is the simpler, as it involves nothing more 
than the consideration of the nature of things. In 
this connection, therefore, a mere mention of conjec- 
ture, definition and quality will suffice. Legal questions 87 
necessarily have a larger number of species, since 
there are many laws and a variety of forms. In the 
case of one law we rely on the letter, in others on the 
spirit. Some laws we force to serve our turn, when 
we can find no law to support our case, others we 
compare with one another, and on others we put some 
novel interpretation. Thus from these three bases we 88 
get three resemblances of bases: sometimes simple, 
sometimes complex, but all having a character of their 
own, as, for instance, when questions of the letter of 
i he law and its intention are involved, for these clearly 
come under conjecture or quality ; or again where the 
syllogism is involved, for this is specially connected 
with quality ; or where contradictory laws are involved, 
for these are on the same footing as the letter of the 
law and intention ; or yet again in cases of ambiguity, 
which is always resolved by conjecture Definition also 89 
belongs to both classes of question, namely those 
concerned with the consideration of facts and those 
concerned with the letter of the law. All these 
questions, although they come under the three bases, 
yet since, as I have mentioned, 2 they have certain 
characteristic features of their own, require to be 
pointed out to learners ; and we must allow them 
to be called legal bases or questions or minor heads, as 
long as it is clearly understood that none of them 
involve any other questions than the three I have 
mentioned. 3 As regards questions of quantity, number, 90 
relation, and, as some have thought, comparison, the 



nulli putarunt, comparativus non eandem rationem 
habent ; sunt enini haec non ad varietatem iuris sed 
ad solam rationem referenda, ideoque semper in 
parte aut coniecturae aut qualitatis ponenda sunt, ut 
Qua mente ? et Quo tempore ? et Quo loco ? 

91 Sed de singulis dicemus quaestionibus, cum trac- 
tare praecepta divisionis coeperimus. Hoc inter 
omnes convenit, in causis simplicibus singulos status 
esse causarum, quaestionum autem, quae velut sub- 
iacent his et ad illud, quo iudicium continetur, refe- 

92 runtur, saepe in unam cadere plures posse ; etiam 
credo aliquando dubitari, quo statu sit utendum, cum 
adversus unam intentionem plura opponuntur ; et 
sicut in colore dicitur narrationis, eum esse optimum, 
quern actor optime tueatur, ita hie quoque posse dici, 
eum statum esse faciendum, in quo tuendo plurimum 

93 adhibere virium possit orator ; ideoque pro Milone 
aliud Ciceroni agenti placuit aliud Bruto, cum exer- 
citationis gratia componeret orationem, cum ille iure 
tanquam insidiatorem occisum et tamen non Milonis 
consilio dixerit, ille etiam gloriatus sit occiso malo 

94 cive : in coniunctis vero posse duos et tris inveniri 
vel diversos, ut si quis aliud se non fecisse, aliud 
recte fecisse defendat, vel generis eiusdem, ut si 

95 quis duo crimina neget. Quod accidit etiam, si de 
una re quaeratur aliqua sed earn plures petant, vel 

Book VII. 
45 6 

BOOK III. vi. 90-95 

case is different. For these have no connexion with 
the complexities of the law, but are concerned with 
reason only. Consequently they must always be 
regarded as coming under conjecture or quality, as, for 
instance, when we ask with what purpose, or at what 
time, or place something was done. 

But I will speak of individual questions when I 91 
come to handle the rules for division. 1 This much is 
agreed to by all writers, that one cause possesses one 
basis, but that as regards secondary questions related 
to the main issue of the trial, there may frequently 
be a number in one single cause. I also think there 92 
is at times some doubt as to which basis should be 
adopted, when many different lines of defence are 
brought to meet a single charge ; and, just as in re- 
gard to the complexion to be given to the statement 
of the facts of the case, that complexion is said to be 
the best which the speaker can best maintain, so in 
the present connexion I may say that the best basis 
to choose is that which will permit the orator to de- 
velop a maximum of force. It is for this reason that 93 
we find Cicero and Brutus taking up different lines 
in defence of Milo. Cicero says that Clodius was 
justifiably killed because he sought to waylay Milo, 
but that Milo had not designed to kill him ; while 
Brutus, who wrote his speech merely as a rhetorical 
exercise, also exults that Milo has killed a bad citizen. 
In complicated causes, however,two or three bases may 94 
be found, or different bases : for instance a man may 
plead that he did not do one thing, and that he was 
justified in doing another, or to take another similar 
class of case, a man may deny two of the charges. 
The same thing occurs when there is a question 95 
about some one thing which is claimed by a number 



eodem iure ut proximitatis vel diverse, ut cum hie 
testamento, ille proximitate nitetur. Quotiens 
autem aliud alii petitori opponitur, dissimiles esse 

96 status neccsse est, ut in ilia controversia : Testamenta 
Icgibns facia rata sint. Intestatorum parentium liberi 
heredes sint. Abdicatm ne quid de bonis patris capiat. 
Xothus ante. Icgitiimtm natus legit'nnus fdius sit, post 
legitimum natns tanluni civis. In adoplionem dare liceal. 
In adoptionem dato rcdire in familiam liceat, si paler 

97 natiiralis sine liberis deccsserit. Qm ex duobus legiti- 
?fiis alterum in adoptionevi dcderat, alterum abdica- 
rcrat, susluiit iiolJinm ; institufo hcrcde abdicate 
decessit. Tres omncs de bonis contendunt. No- 
thum, qui non sit legitimus, Graeci vocant ; Latinum 
rei nomen^ ut Cato quoque in oratione quadam tes- 
tatus est, non habemus ideoque utimur peregrine. 

98 Sed ad propositum. Heredi scripto opponitur lex, 
Abdicalus ne quid de bonis patris capiat; fit status 
scripti et voluntatis, an ullo modo capere possit, an 
ex voluntate patris, an hcres scriptus. Notho 
duplex fit quaestio, quod post legitiinos natus sit et 


BOOK III. vi. 95-98 

of persons, who may all of them rely on the same 
kind of plea (for instance, on the right of the next of 
kin), or may put in different claims, one urging that 
the property was left him by will, another that he is 
next of kin. Now whenever a different defence has 
to be made against different claimants, there must be 
different bases, as for example the well-known con- 
troversial theme : " Wills that are made in accordance 96 
with law shall be valid. When parents die intestate, 
their children shall be the heirs. A disinherited son 
shall receive none of his father's property. A bastard, 
if born before a legitimate son, shall be treated as 
legitimate, but if born after a legitimate son shall be 
treated merely as a citizen. It shall be lawful to give 
a son in adoption. Every son given in adoption shall 
have the right to re-enter his own family if his natural 
father has died childless. A father of two legitimate 97 


sons gave one in adoption, disinherited the other, 
and acknowledged a bastard, who was born to him 
later. Finally after making the disinherited son his 
heir he died. All three sons lay claim to the 
property." Nothus is the Greek word for a bastard ; 
Latin, as Cato emphasized in one of his speeches, has 
no word of its own and therefore borrows the foreign 
term. But I am straying from the point. The son 98 
who w^as made heir by the will finds his way barred 
by the law " A disinherited son shall receive none of 
his father's property." The basis is one resting on 
the letter of the law and intention, and the problem is 
whether he can inherit bv any means at all ? can he 

/ / 

do so in accordance with the intention of his father? 
or in virtue of the fact that he was made heir by the 
will ? The problem confronting the bastard is two- 
fold, since he was born after the two legitimate sons 



99 quod non sit ante legitimum natus. Prior syllogismon 
habet, an pro non natis sint habendi, qui a familia 
sunt alienati. Altera et scripti et voluntatis. Non 
esse enim hunc natum ante legitimum convenit, sed 
voluritate legis se tuebitur, quam dicet talem fuisse, 
ut legitirnus esset nothus tune natus, cum alius legi- 

100 timus in domo non esset. Scriptum quoque legis 
excludet dicens, non utique, si postea legitimus 
natus non sit; notho nocere ; uteturque hoc argu- 
mento : Fingc solum natum nothum, cuius condicio7iis 
erit ? Tantum civis ? atqui non erii post legitimum 
natus. An Jilius ? atqui non erii ante legitimos natus. 
Quare si verbis legis start non potest, voluntate standum 

101 est. Nee quemquam turbet, quod ex una lege duo 
status fiant ; duplex est, ita vim duarum habet 
Redire in familiam volenti dicitur ab altero primum, 
Ut tibi redire liceat, heres sum. Idem status, qui in 
petitione abdicati ; quaeritur enim, an possit esse 

102 heres abdicatus. Obiicitur communiter a duobus, 
Redire tibi in familiam non licet, non enim pater sine 
liberis decessit. Sed in hoc propria quisque eorum 
quaestione nitetur. Alter enim dicet abdicatum 

1 The law is twofold as containing two separate, though 
complementary, enactments on the position of bastards : 
(a) nothus .... filius sit, (b) post .... civis ( 96). 


BOOK III. vi. 98-102 

and was not born before a legitimate son. The first 99 
problem involves a syllogism : are those sons \vho 
have been cast out from their own family to be re- 
garded as though they had never been born ? The 
second is concerned with the letter of the law and 
intention. For it is admitted that he was not born 
before any legitimate son, but he will defend his 
claim by appealing to the intention of the law, which 
he will maintain to imply that the bastard, born when 
there was no legitimate son in the family, should 
rank as legitimate. He will dismiss the letter of the 100 
law, pointing out that in any case the position of a 
bastard is not prejudiced by the fact that no legitimate 
son was born after him, and arguing as follows : 
" Suppose that the only son is a bastard, what will 
his position be ? Merely that of a citizen ? and yet 
he was not born after any legitimate son. Or 
will he rank as a son in all respects ? But he 
was not born before the legitimate sons. As it is 
impossible to stand by the letter of the law we 
must stand by its intentions." It need disturb no one 101 
that one law should originate two bases. The law is 
twofold, and therefore has the force of two laws. 1 
To the son who desires to re-enter the family, the 
disinherited's first reply is, "Even though you are 
allowed to re-enter the family, I am still the heir." 
The basis will be the same as in the claim put forward 
by the disinherited son, since the question at issue is 
whether a disinherited son can inherit. Both the 102 
disinherited and the bastard will object, " You cannot 
re-enter the family, for our father did not die child- 
less." But in this connexion each will rely on 
his own particular question. For the disinherited son 
will say that even a disinherited man does not cease 



quoque inter liberos esse, et argumentum ducet ex 
ipsa, qua repellitur, lege ; supervacuuin enim fuisse 
prohiberi patris bonis abdicatum, si esset numero 
alienorum ; iiuric quia filii iure futurus fuerit intes- 
tati heres, oppositam esse legem, quae tamen non 
id eflieiat, ne films sit, sed ne heres sit. Status 

103 fmitivus, quid sit tilius. Rursus notlms eisdein 
colligit argumentis, non sine liberis patrem deces- 
sisse, quibus in petitioiie usus est, lit probaret esse 
se filium. Nisi forte et hie finitionem movet, an 
liberi sint etiani non legitimi. Cadent ergo in 
unain controversiam vel specialiter duo legitimi 
status scripti et voluntatis et syllogismos et prae- 
terea fmitio, vel tres illi, qui natura soli sunt, con- 
iectura in scripto et voluntate, qualitas in syllogismo, 
et, quae per se est aj>erta, finitio. 

104 Causa quoque et iudicatio et continens est in omni 
genere causarum. Niliil enim dicitur, cui non insit 
ratio et quo iudicium referatur et quod rem maxinie 
contineat. Sed quia magis haec variantur in litibus 
et fere tradita sunt ab iis, qui de iudicialibus causis 
aliqua composuerunt, in ill am port em difTerantur. 
Nunc, quia in tria genera causas divisi, ordinem 


1 See 82. 2 See 88. 

8 Fur discussion of these technical terms see chap. xi. 

' Chaps, iii. and iv. 


BOOK III. vi. 102 104 

to be a son, and will derive an argument from that 
very law which denies his claim to the inheritance ; 
namely that it was unnecessary for a disinherited son 
to be excluded from possession of his father's property 
if he had ceased to be one of the family; but now, 
since in virtue of his rights as son he would have 
been his father's heir if he had died intestate, the 
law is brought to bar his claim ; and vet the law does 

O * 

not deprive him of his position as son, but only of his 
position as heir. Here the basis is definitive, as turning 
on the definition of a son. Again the bastard in his 103 
turn will urge that his father did not die childless, 
employing the same arguments that he had used in 
putting forward his claim that lie ranked as a son ; 
unless indeed he too has recourse to definition, and 
raises the question whether even bastards are not sons. 
Thus in one case we shall have either two special 
leoal bases, namely the letter of tlie law and intention, 
with the syllogism and also definition, or those three l 
which are really the only bases strictly so called, con- 
jecture as regards the letter of the law and intention, 
quality in the syllogism? and definition, which needs no 

Further every kind of case will contain a cause, a 104 
point for the decision of the judge, and a central argument. 3 
For nothing can be said which does not contain a 
reason, something to which the decision of the judge 
is directed, and finally something which, more than 
alight else, contains the substance of the matter at 

f3 ' 

issue. But as these vary in different cases and are as 
a rule explained bv writers on judicial causes, I will 
postpone them to the appropriate portion of my work. 
For the present I shall follow the order which I 
prescribed by my division 4 of causes into three classes. 



VII. Ac potissimum incipiam ab ea, quae constat 
laucle ac vituperatione. Quod genus videtur Aris- 
toteles atque eum secutus Theophrastus a parte 
negotiali, hoc est Trpay/xartK^, removisse totamque 
ad solos auditores relegasse, et id eius nominis, quod 

2 ab ostentatione ducitur, proprium est. Sed mos 
Romanus etiam negotiis hoc munus inseruit. Nam 
et funebres laudationes pendent frequenter ex aliquo 
publico officio atque ex senatus consulto magistra- 
tibus saepe mandantur, et laudare testem vel contra 
pertinet ad momentum iudiciorum, et ipsis etiam 
reis dare laudatores licet, et editi in Competitores, in 
L. Pisonem,, in Clodium et Curionem libri vitupera- 
tionem continent et tamen in Senatu loco sunt 

3 habiti sententiae. Neque infitias eo, quasdam esse 
ex hoc genere materias ad solam compositas ostenta- 
tionem, ut laudes deorum virorumque, quos priora 
tempora tulerunt. Quo solvitur quaestio supra 
tractata, manifestumque est errare eos, qui nunquam 

4 oratorem dicturum nisi de re dubia putaverunt. An 
laudes Capitolini lovis, perpetua sacri certaminis 
materia, vel dubiae sunt vel non oratorio genere 
tractantur ? 

Rhet. 1358 b. 2. a sc. . 

8 The speech was known as in Toga Candida. Only frag- 
ments survive. 

4 The in Pisonem survives, the in Clodium et Curionem, 
to which he refers again (v. x. 92), is lost. 

IIL v. 3. 


BOOK III. vii. 1-4 

VII. I will begin with the class of causes which are 
concerned with praise and blame. This class appears 
to have been entirely divorced by Aristotle, 1 and 
following him by Theophrastus, from the practical 
side of oratory (which they call Trpay/xaruo;) and to 
have been reserved solely for the delectation of 
audiences, which indeed is shown to be its peculiar 
function by its name, which implies display. 2 Roman 2 
usage on the other hand has given it a place in the 
practical tasks of life. For funeral orations are 
often imposed as a duty on persons holding public 
office, or entrusted to magistrates by decree of the 
senate. Again the award of praise or blame to a 
witness may carry weight in the courts, while it is 
also a recognised practice to produce persons to 
praise the character of the accused. Further the 
published speeches of Cicero directed against his 
rivals in the election to the consulship, 3 and 
against Lucius Piso, Clodius and Curio, 4 are full of 
denunciation, and were notwithstanding delivered in 
the senate as formal expressions of opinion in the 
course of debate. 1 do not deny that some compo- 3 
sitions of this kind are composed solely with a view 
to display, as, for instance, panegyrics of gods and 
heroes of the past, a consideration which provides 
the solution of a question which I discussed a little 
while back, 5 and proves that those are wrong who 
hold that an orator will never speak on a subject 
unless it involves some problem. But what problem 4 
is involved by the praise of Jupiter Capitolinus, a 
stock theme of the sacred Capitoline contest, 6 which 
is undoubtedly treated in regular rhetorical form ? 

* Tho quinquennial contest in honour of Jupiter 
Capitolinus, founded by Domitian in 86. 



Ut desiderat autem laus, quae negotiis adhibetur, 
probatioriem, sic etiain ilia, quae ostentation! com- 
ponitur, habet interim aliquam speciem probationis ; 

5 ut qui Rornulum Martis filium educatumque a hi pa 
dicat, in argumentum caelestis ortus utatur his, quod 
abiectus in proflueiitem non potuerit exstingui, quod 
omnia sic egerit, ut geiiitum praeside bellorum deo 
incredibile non esset, quod ipsum quoque caelo re- 
eeptum temporis eius homines non dtibitaverint. 

6 Quaedam vero etiam in deferisionis speciem cadent, 
ut si in laude Herculis permutatum cum regina 
Lydiae habitum et imperata, tit traditur, pensa orator 
excuset. Sed proprium laudis est res amplificare et 

Quae materia praecipue quidem in deos et homines 
cadit, est tamen et aliorum animalium, etiam caren- 

7 tium anima. Verum in deis generaliter primum 
maiestatem ipsius eorum naturae venerabimur, de- 
inde proprie vim cuiusque et inventa, quae utile 

8 aliquid hominibus attulerint. Vis ostenditur, ut in 
love regendorum omnium, in Marte belli, in Nep- 
tuno maris ; inventa, ut artium in Minerva, Mercuric 
litterarum, medicinae Apolline, Cerere frugum, Li- 


BOOK III. vii. 4-8 

However, just as panegyric applied to practical 
matters requires proof, so too a certain semblance of 
proof is at times required by speeches composed 
entirely for display. For instance, a speaker who tells 5 
how Romulus was the son of Mars and reared by the 
she-wolf, will offer as proofs of his divine origin the 
facts that when thrown into a running stream he 
escaped drowning, that all his achievements were such 
as to make it credible that he was the offspring of the 
god of battles, and that his contemporaries unques- 
tionably believed that he was translated to heaven. 
Some arguments will even wear a certain semblance 6 
of defence : for example, if the orator is speaking 
in praise of Hercules, he will find excuses for his 
hero having changed raiment with the Queen of 
Lydia and submitted to the tasks which legend tells 
us she imposed upon him. The proper function 
however of panegyric is to amplify and embellish its 

This form of oratory is directed in the main to 
the praise of gods and men, but may occasionally be 
applied to the praise of animals or even of inani- 
mate objects. In praising the gods our first step 1 
will be to express our veneration of the majesty of 
their nature in general terms . next we shall proceed 
to praise the special power of the individual god and 
the discoveries whereby he has benefited the human 
race. For example, in the case of Jupiter, we shall h 
extol his power as manifested in the governance of 
all things, with Mars we shall praise his power in war, 
with Neptune his power over the sea; as regards 
inventions we shall celebrate Minerva's discovery of 
the arts, Mercury's discovery of letters, Apollo's of 
medicine, Ceres' of the fruits of the earth, Bacchus' 



bero vini. Turn si qua ab iis acta vetustas tradidit, 
comrnemoranda. Addunt etiam dis honorem pa- 
rentes^ ut si quis sit filius lovis ; addit antiquitas, ut 
iis, qui sunt ex Chao ; progenies quoque, ut Apollo 
9 ac Diana Latonae. Laudandum in quibusdam quod 
geniti immortales, quibusdam quod immortalitatem 
virtute sint consecuti ; quod pietas principis nostri 
praesentium quoque temporum decus fecit. 

10 Magis est varia laus hominum. Nam primum 
dividitur in tempora, quodque ante eos fuit quoque 
ipsi vixerunt ; in iis autem, qui fato sunt functi, 
etiam quod est insecutum. Ante hominem patria 
ac parentes maioresque erunt, quorum duplex trac- 
tatus est : aut enim respondisse nobilitati pulchrum 

11 erit aut humilius genus illustrasse factis. Ilia quo- 
que interim ex eo, quod ante ipsum fuit, tempore 
trahentur, quae responsis vel auguriis futuram clari- 
tatem promiserint, ut eum, qui ex Thetide natus 
esset, maiorem patre suo futurum cecinisse dicuntur 

12 oracula. Ipsius vero laus hominis ex animo et cor- 
pore et extra positis peti debet. Et corporis quidem 
fortuitorumque cum levior, turn non uno modo trac- 
tanda est. Nam et pulchritudmem interim roburque 

1 sc. by Donntian's deification of his father Vespasian and 
his brother Titus. 


BOOK III. vii. 8-12 

of wine. Next we must record their exploits as 
handed down from antiquity. Even gods may de- 
rive honour from their descent, as for instance is 
the case with the sons of Jupiter, or from their 
antiquity, as in the case of the children of Chaos, or 
from their offspring, as in the case of Latona, the 
mother of Apollo and Diana. Some again may be 9 
praised because they were born immortal, others 
because they won immortality by their valour, a theme 
which the piety of our sovereign has made the glory 
even of these present times. 1 

There is greater variety required in the praise of 10 
men. In the first place there is a distinction to be 
made as regards time between the period in which 
the objects of our praise lived and the time pre- 
ceding their birth ; and further, in the case of the 
dead, we must also distinguish the period following 
their death. With regard to things preceding a 
man's birth, there are his country, his parents and his 
ancestors, a theme which may be handled in two 
ways. For either it will be creditable to the objects of 
our praise not to have fallen short of the fair fame of 
their country and of their sires or to have ennobled 
a humble origin by the glory of their achievements. 
Other topics to be drawn from the period preceding 11 
their birth will have reference to omens or prophe- 
cies foretelling their future greatness, such as the 
oracle which is said to have foretold that the son of 
Thetis would be greater than his father. The praise 12 
of the individual himself will be based on his 
character, his physical endowments and external 
circumstances. Physical and accidental advantages 
provide a comparatively unimportant theme, which 
requires variety of treatment. At times for instance 



prosequimur honore verborum, ut Homerus in Aga- 
memnone atque Achilla, et interim confert admira- 
tioni multum etiam infirmitas, ut cum idem Tydea 

13 parvum sed bellatorem dicit fuisse. Fortuna vero 
turn dignitatem adfert, ut in regibus principibusque 
(namque est haec materia ostendendae virtutis 
uberior), turn quo minores opes fuerunt, maiorem 
bene factis gloriam parit. Sed oinnia, quae extra 
nos bona sunt quaeque bominibus forte obtigerunt, 
non ideo laudantur, quod habuerit quis ea, sed quod 

14 iis honeste sit usus. Nam divitiae et potentia et 
gratia, cum plurimum virium dent, in utramque 
partem certissimum faciunt morum experimentum, 
aut enim meliores sumus propter haec aut peiores. 

15 Animi semper vera laus, sed lion una per hoc opus 
via ducitur. Namque alias aetatis gradus gestarum- 
que rerum ordinem sequi speciosius fuit, ut in primis 
annis laudaretur indoles, turn disciplinae, post hoc 
operum id est factorum dictorumque contextus ; alias 
in species virtutum dividere laudem, fortitudinis, 
iustitiae, continentiae ceterarumque, ac singulis ad- 
signare, quae secundum quamque earum gesta erunt. 

16 Utra sit autem harum via utilior, cum materia deli- 
berabiinus, dum sciamus gratiora esse audientibus, 
quae solus quis aut primus aut certe cum paucis 
fecisse dicetur, si quid praeterea supra spem aut 

1 Iliad, ii. 477. 2 Iliad, ii. 180. 

3 Iliad, v. 801. 


BOOK III. vii. 12-16 

we extol beauty and strength in honorific terms, as 
Homer does in the case of Agamemnon 1 and 
Achilles 2 ; at times again weakness may contribute 
largely to our admiration, as when Homer says 3 that 
Tydeus was small of stature but a good fighter. 
Fortune too may confer dignity as in the case of 13 
kings and princes (for they have a fairer field for 
the display of their excellences) but on the other 
hand the glory of good deeds may be enhanced by 
the smallness of their resources. Moreover the 
praise awarded to external and accidental advantages 
is given, not to their possession, but to their honour- 
able employment. For wealth and power and influ- 14 
ence, since they are the sources of strength, are the 
surest test of character for good or evil ; they make us 
better or they make us w r orse. Praise awarded to 15 
character is always just, but may be given in various 
ways. It 'has sometimes proved the more effective 
course to trace a man's life and deeds in due chrono- 
logical order, praising his natural gifts as a child, then 
his progress at school, and finally the whole course of 
his life, including words as well as deeds. At times 
on the other hand it is well to divide our praises, 
dealing separately with the various virtues, forti- 
tude, justice, self-control and the rest of them and 
to assign to each virtue the deeds performed under 
its influence. We shall have to decide which of 16 
these two methods will be the more serviceable, 
according to the nature of the subject; but we 
must bear in mind the fact that what most pleases 
an audience is the celebration of deeds which our 
hero was the first or only man or at any rate one of 
the very few to perform : and to these we must add 
any other achievements which surpassed hope or 



exspectationem, praecipue quod aliena potius causa 

17 quam sua. Tempus, quod finem hominis insequitur, 
non semper tractare contingit ; non solum quod 
viventes aliquando laudamus, sed quod rara haec 
occasio est, ut referri possint divini honores et 

18 decreta et publice statuae constitutae. Inter quae 
numeraverim ingeniorura monumenta, quae saeculis 
probarentur. Nam quidam, sicut Menander, iustiora 
posterorum quam suae aetatis iudicia sunt consecuti. 
Adferunt laudem liberi parentibus, urbes conditori- 
bus, leges latoribus, artes inventoribus nee non in- 
stituta quoque auctoribus, ut a Numa traditum deos 
colere, a Publicola fasces populo summittere. 

19 Qui omnis etiam in vituperatione ordo constabit, 
tantum in diversum. Nam et turpitudo generis 
opprobrio multis fuit, et quosdam claritas ipsa noti- 
ores circa vitia et invisos magis fecit, et in quibus 
dam, ut in Paride traditum est, praedicta pernicies, 
et corporis ac fortunae quibusdam mala contemptum, 
sicut Thersitae atque Iro, quibusdam bona vitiis cor- 
rupta odium attulemnt, ut Nirea imbellem, Plis- 

20 thenen impudicum a poetis accepimus. Et animo 

The handsomest warrior among the Greeks of Troy. 
2 Son of Atreus : the allusion is not known. 


BOOK III. vn. 16-20 

expectation, emphasising what was done for the sake 
of others rather than what lie performed on his 
own behalf. It is not always possible to deal with 17 
the time subsequent to our hero's death : this is 
due not merely to the fact that we sometimes praise 
him, while still alive, but also that there are but few 
occasions when we have a chance to celebrate the 
award of divine honours, posthumous votes of thanks, 
or statues erected at the public expense. Among 18 
such themes of panegyric I would mention monu- 
ments of genius that have stood the test of time. 
For some great men like Menander have received 
ampler justice from the verdict of posterity than 
from that of their own age. Children reflect glory 
on their parents, cities on their founders, laws on 
those who made them, arts on their inventors and 
institutions on those that first introduced them ; for 
instance Numa first laid down rules for the worship 
of the gods, and Publicola first ordered that the 
lictors' rods should be lowered in salutation to the 

The same method will be applied to denunciations 19 
as well, but with a viewto opposite effects. For humble 
origin has been a reproach to many, while in some 
cases distinction has merely served to increase the 
notoriety and unpopularity of vices. In regard to 
some persons, as in the story of Paris, it has been 
predicted that they would be the cause of destruction 
to many, some like Thersites and Irus have been 
despised for their poverty and mean appearance, 
others have been loathed because their natural ad- 
vantages were nullified by their vices : the poets for 
instance tell us that Nireus ] was a coward and 
Pleisthenes 2 a debauchee. The mind too has as 20 



totidem vitia, quot virtutes sunt, nee minus quam in 
laudibus duplici ratione tractantur. Et post mortem 
adieeta quibusdam ignominia est, ut Maelio, cuius 
domus solo aequata, Mareoque Manlio, cuius prae- 

21 nomen e familia in posterum exemptum est ; et 
parentes malorum odimus ; et est conditoribus 
urbium infame contraxisse aliquam periiiciosain 
ceteris gentem, qualis est primus ludaicae supersti- 
tionis auetor ; et Gracchorum leges invisae ; et si 
quod est exemplum deforme posteris traditum, quale 
libidinis vir Perses in muliere Samia instituere ausus 

22 dieitur primus. Sed in viventibus quoque indicia 
hominum velut argumenta sunt morum, et honos 
aut ignominia veram esse laudem vel vituperationem 
pro bat. 

23 Interesse tamen Aristoteles putat, ubi quidque 
iaudetur aut vituperetur. Nam plurimum refert, 
qui sint audientium mores, quae publice recepta 
persuasio, ut ilia maxime quae probant esse in eo, 
qui laudabitur, credantj aut in eo, contra quein 
dicemus, ea quae oderunt. Ita non dubium erit 

24 indicium, (juod orationem praecesserit. Ipsorum 
etiam permiscenda laus semper, iiam id benevolos 
facit ; quotiens autem fieri poterit, cum materiae 
utilitate iungcnda. Minus Lacedaemone studia 

1 Moses. 2 Rhtt. i. 9. 

BOOK III. vii. 20-24 

many vices as virtues, and vice may be denounced, 
as virtue may be praised, in two different ways. 
Some have been branded with infamy after death 
like Maelius, whose house was levelled with the 

ground, or Marcus Manlius, whose first name was 


banished from his family for all generations to 
come. The vices of the children bring hatred on 21 
their parents; founders of cities are detested for 
concentrating a race which is a curse to others, as 
for example the founder of the Jewish super- 
stition ; l the laws of Gracchus are hated, and we 
abhor any loathsome example of vice that has been 
handed down to posterity, such as the criminal form of 
lust which a Persian is said to have been the first to 
practise on a woman of Samos. And even in the 22 
case of the living the judgment of mankind serves 
as a proof of their character, and the fairness or 
foulness of their fame proves the orator's praise or 
blame to be true. 

Aristotle 2 however thinks that the place and sub- 23 
ject of panegyrics or denunciations make a very con- 
siderable difference. For much depends on the 
character of the audience and the generally received 
opinion, if they are to believe that the virtues of 
which they approve are pre-eminently characteristic 
of the person praised and the vices which they hate 
of the person denounced. For there can be 
little doubt as to the attitude of the audience, 
if that attitude is already determined prior to 
the delivery of the speech. It will be wise 24 
too for him to insert some words of praise for 
his audience, since this will secure their good 
will, and wherever it is possible this should be done 
in such a manner as to advance his case. Literature 



litterarum quam Athenis honores merebimtur, plus 
patientia ac fortitudo. Rapto vivere quibusdam 
honestum, aliis cura legum. Frugalitas apud Sybari- 
tas forsitan odio foret, veteribus Ronianis summum 
luxuria crimen. Eadem in singulis differentia. 

25 Maxima favet iudex, qui sibi dicentem assentiri 
putat. Idem praecipit illud quoque (quod mox 
Cornelius Celsus prope supra modum invasit), quia 
sit quaedam virtutibus ac vitiis vicinitas, utendum 
proxima derivatione verborum, ut pro ternerario 
fortem, pro prodigo liberalem, pro avaro parcum 
vocemus ; quae eadem etiam contra valent. Quod 
quidem orator, id est vir bonus, nunquam faciet, nisi 
forte communi utilitate ducetur. 

26 Laudantur autem urbes similiter atque homines. 
Nam pro parente est conditor, et multum auctori- 
tatis adfert vetustas, ut iis, qui terra dicuntur orti ; 
et virtutes ac vitia circa res gestas eadem quae in 
singulis, ilia propria quae ex loci positione ac muni- 
tione sunt. Gives illis ut hominibus liberi decori. 

27 Est laus et operum, in quibus honor, utilitas, 
pulchritudo, auctor spectari solet. Honor ut in 

templis, utilitas ut in muris, pulchritudo vel auctor 

BOOK III. vn. 24-27 

will win less praise at Sparta than at Athens, endur- 
ance and courage more. Among some races the life 
of a freebooter is accounted honourable, while others 
regard it as a duty to respect the laws. Frugality 
might perhaps be unpopular with the Sybarites, 
whilst luxury was regarded as a crime by the an- 
cient Romans. Similar differences of opinion are 
found in individuals. A judge is most favourable to 25 
the orator whose views he thinks identical with his 
own. Aristotle also urges a point, which at a later 
date Cornelius Celsus emphasised almost to excess, 
to the effect that, since the boundary between vice 
and virtue is often ill-defined, it is desirable to use 
words that swerve a little from the actual truth, 
calling a rash man brave, a prodigal generous, a mean 
man thrifty; or the process may, if necessary, be re- 
versed. But this the ideal orator, that is to say a 
good man, will never do, unless perhaps he is led to 
do so by consideration for the public interest. 

Cities are praised after the same fashion as men. 26 
The founder takes the place of the parent, and an- 
tiquity carries great authority, as for instance in the 
case of those whose inhabitants are said to be sprung 
from the soil. The virtues and vices revealed by 
their deeds are the same as in private individuals. 
The advantages arising from site or fortifications are 
however peculiar to cities. Their citizens enhance 
their fame just as children bring honour to their 

Praise too may be awarded to public works, 27 
in connexion with which their magnificence, 
utility, beauty and the architect or artist must 
be given due consideration. Temples for instance 
will be praised for their magnificence, walls for 



utrobique. Est et locorum, qualis Siciliae apud 
Ciceronem, in quibus similiter speciem et utilitatem 
intueniur ; speciem in maritimis, plain's, amoenis ; 
utilitatem in salubribus_, fertilibus. Erit et dictorum 
honestorum factorumque laus generalis, erit et rerum 
28 omnis modi. Nam et somni et mortis scriptae 
laudes et quorundam a medicis ciborum. 

Itaque, ut non consensi hoc laudativum genus 
circa solam versari honesti quaestionem, sic quali- 
tate maxime contineri puto ; quanquain tres status 
omnes cad ere in hoc opus possint, iisque usum 
C. Caesarem in vituperando Catone notaverit Cicero, 
fotum autem habct aliquid simile suasoriis, (juia 
plerumque eadein illic suaderi, hie laudari solent. 

VIII. Deliberativas quoque miror a quibusdam 
sola utilitate finitas. Ac si quid in his uiium se(]iii 
oporteret, potior fuisset apud me Ciceronis sententia, 
qui hoc materiae genus dignitate maxime contineri 
putat. Nee dubito, quin ii, qui sunt in ilia priore 
sententia, secundum opinionem pulcherrimam ne 
utile quidem, nisi quod honestum esset, existimarint. 
2 Et est haec ratio verissima, si consilium contingat 
semper bonorum atque sapientium. Veruin apud 
imperitos, apud quos frequenter dicenda sententia 
est, populumque praecipue, qui ex pluribus constat 

1 in Verr. ii. 1 sqq., iv. 48. 

2 Quality, conjecture, definition, bee chap. vi. forexplana- 
tion of this term. 8 Top. xxv. 94. 

4 de Or. ii. Ixxxii. 334. 


BOOK III. vn. 27-vm. 2 

their utility, and both for their beauty or the skill of 
the architect. Places may also be praised, witness 
the praise of Sicily in Cicero. 1 In such cases 
\ve consider their beauty and utility : beauty calls for 
notice in places by the sea, in open plains and 
pleasant situations, utility in healthy or fertile 
localities. Again praise in general terms may be 
awarded to noble sayings or deeds. Finally things 
of every kind may be praised. Panegyrics have 28 
been composed on sleep and death, and physicians 
have written eulogies on certain kinds of food. 

While therefore I do not agree that panegyric 
concerns only questions regarding what is honour- 
able, I do think that it comes as a rule under 
the heading of quality, although all three bases 2 may 
be involved in Panegyric and it was observed by 
Cicero 3 that all were actually used by Gaius Caesar 
in his denunciation of Cato. But panegyric is akin 
to deliberative oratory inasmuch as the same things 
are usually praised in the former as are advised 
in the latter. 

VIII. I am surprised that deliberative oratory also 
has been restricted by some authorities to questions 
of expediency. If it should be necessary to assign 
one single aim to deliberative I should prefer 
Cicero's 4 view that this kind of oratory is primarily 
concerned with what is honourable. I do not doubt 
that those who maintain the opinion first mentioned 
adopt the lofty view that nothing can be expedient 
which is not good. That opinion is perfectly sound 2 
so long as we are fortunate enough to have wise and 
good men for counsellors. But as we most often 
express our views before an ignorant audience, and 
more especially before popular assemblies, of which 



indoctis, discernenda sunt haec et secumlum com- 

3 munes magis intellectus loquendum. Sunt enim 
multi, qui etiam, quae credunt honesta, non tamen 
satis eadem utilia quoque existiment, et quae turpia 
esse dubitare non possunt, utilitatis specie ducti 
probent, ut foedus Nuinantinum iuginnque Cau- 

4 dinum. Ne qualitatis quidem statu, in quo et 
honestorum et utilium quaestio est, complecti eas 
satis est. Nam frequenter in his etiam coniecturae 
locus est, nonnunquam tractatur aliqua rinitio, ali- 
quando etiam legales possunt incidere tractatus, in 
privata maxime consilia, si quando ambigetur an 

5 liceat. De coniectura paulo post pluribus. Interim 
est finitio apud Demosthenen, Det Halonnesum 
PhilippuSj an reddat ? apud Ciceronem in Philippicis, 
Quid sit tumultus ? Quid? non ilia similis iudicia- 
lium quaestio de statua Servi Sulpici, an iis demum 
ponenda sit, qui in legatione ferro sunt interempti? 

6 Ergo pars deliberative, quae eadem suasoria dicitur, 

1 Mancinua was surrounded on retreat from Numantia in 
137 B.C., while the surrender at the Caudine Forks took 
place in 321 B.C. In both cases the Senate refused to ratify 
the humiliating treaties which had been made the price of 
the release of the Roman armies. 

2 For conjecture see in. vi. 30 sqq. 

8 Halonnesus had belonged to Athens, but had been seized 
by pirates. Philip ejected the pirates. The Athenians asked 
him to restore it ; he replied that it belonged to him and 
that there could be no question of restoration, but if they 
asked for it as a gift he promised to give it them. 


BOOK III. vin. 2-6 

the majority is usually uneducated, we must distin- 
guish between what is honourable and what is ex- 
pedient and conform our utterances to suit ordinary 
understandings. For there are many who do not 3 
admit that what they really believe to be the honour- 
able course is sufficiently advantageous, and are 
misled by the prospect of advantage into approving 
courses of the dishonourable nature of which there 
can be no question: witness the Numantine treaty 
and the surrender of the Caudine Forks. 1 Nor does 4 
it suffice to restrict deliberative oratory to the basis 
of quality which is concerned with questions of 
honour and expediency. For there is often room 
for conjecture as well. Sometimes again definition 
is necessary or legal problems require handling ; this 
is especially the case when advice has to be given 
on private matters, where there is some doubt of 
the legality of the course under consideration. Of 
conjecture 2 I shall speak more fully a little later 
on. Returning to dejiniiion for the moment, we 5 
find it in the question raised by Demosthenes, 
" whether Philip should give or restore Halonnesus," 3 
and to that discussed by Cicero in the Philippics 4 as 
to the nature of a tumultus. Again does not the 
question raised in connection with the statue of 
Servius Sulpicius 5 as to " whether statues should be 
erected only in honour of those ambassadors who 
perish by the sword " bear a strong resemblance to 
the questions that are raised in the law courts ? The 6 
deliberative department of oratory (also called the 

4 vni. i. 2, where the question is discussed as to 
whether the war with Antony is bellum or tumultus, the 
latter being the technical name for any grave national 
emergency such as civil war or a Gallic invasion within the 
bounds of Italy. 6 Phil. ix. 1. 



de tempore future consultans quaerit etiam de 
praeterito. Ofticiis constat duobus suadendi ac 

Prooemio, quale est in iudicialibus, non ubique 
eget, quia conciliatus est ei quisque, quern consulit. 
Initium tamen quodcunque debet habere aliquam 
prooemii speciem ; neque enim abrupte nee unde 
libuit incipiendum, quia est aliquid in omni materia 

7 naturaliter primum. In senatu et utique in con- 
tionibus eadem ratio quae apud iudices, adquirendae 
sibi plerumque eorum, apud quos dicendum sit, 
benevolentiae. Nee minim, cum etiam in pane- 
gvricis petatur audientium favor, ubi emolumentum 
non in utilitate aliqua, sed in sola laude consistit. 

8 Aristoteles quidein nee sine causa putat et a nostra 
et ab eius, qui dissentiet, persona duci frequenter in 
consiliis exordium, quasi mutuantibus hoc nobis a 
iudiciali genere, nonnunquam etiam, ut minor res 
maiorve videatur ; in demonstratives vero prooemia 

9 esse maxime libera existimat. Nam et longe a 
materia duci, ut in Helenae laude Isocrates fecerit ; 
et ex aliqua rei vicinia, ut idem in Panegyrico, cum 
queritur plus honoris corporum quam animorum 
virtutibus dari ; et Gorgias in Olympico laudans eos, 
qui primi tales instituerint conventus. Quos secutus 

1 Rhet. iii. 14. 

3 Tlie speech opens with a disquisition on the absurd and 
trivial nature of much that is contained in the speeches of 
sophists and rhetoricians. 


BOOK III. vin. 6-9 

advisory department), while it deliberates about the 
future, also enquires about the past, while its func- 
tions are twofold and consist in advising and 

Deliberative oratory does not always require an 
exordium, such as is necessary in forensic speeches, 
since he who asks an orator for his opinion is naturally 
well disposed to him. But the commencement, what- 
ever be its nature, must have some resemblance to an 
exordium. For we must not begin abruptly or just at 
the point where the fancy takes us, since in every 
subject there is something which naturally comes first. 
In addressing the senate or the people the same 7 
methods apply as in the law courts, and we must aim 
as a rule at acquiring the goodwill of our audience. 
This need cause no surprise, since even in panegyric 
we seek to win the favour of our hearers when our 
aim is praise pure and simple, and not the acquisition 
of any advantage. Aristotle, 1 it is true, holds, not 8 
without reason, that in deliberative speeches we may 
often begin with a reference either to ourselves or to 
our opponent, borrowing this practice from forensic 
oratory, and sometimes producing the impression that 
the subject is of greater or less importance than it 
actually is. On the other hand he thinks that in 
demonstrative oratory the exordium may be treated with 
the utmost freedom, since it is sometimes drawn from 9 
irrelevant material, as for example in Isocrates' Praise 
of Helen, 2 or from something akin to the subject, 
as for instance in the Panegyricus of the same author, 
when he complains that more honour is given to phy- 
sical than to moral excellence, or as Gorgias in his 
speech delivered at the Olympic games praises the 
founders of the great national games. Sallust seems 



videlicet C. Sallustius in bello lugurthino et Catili- 
nae nihil ad historiam pertinentibus principiis orsus 

10 Sed nunc ad suasoriam, in qua, etiam cum pro- 
oemio utemur, breviore tamen et velut quodam 
capite tantum et initio debcbimus esse contenti. 
Narrationem vero nunquam exigit privata delibera- 
tio, eius duntaxat rei, de qua dicenda sententia est; 

11 quia nemo ignorat id de quo consulit. Extrinsecus 
possunt pertinentia ad deliberationem multa narrari. 
In contionibus saepe est etiam ilia, quae ordinem 

12 rei docet, necessaria. Adfectus ut quae maxime 
postulat. Nam et concitanda et lenienda frequenter 
est ira, et ad metum, cupiditatem, odium, concilia- 
tionem impellendi animi. Nonnunquam etiam 
movenda miseratio, sive, ut auxilium obsessis feratur, 
suadere oportebit sive sociae civitatis eversionem 
deflebimus. Valet autem in consiliis auctoritas 

13 plurimum. Nam et prudentissimus esse haberique 
et optinius debet, qui sententiae suae de utilibus 
atque honestis credere omnes velit. In iudiciis enim 
vulgo fas habetur indulgere aliquid studio suo ; 

consilia nemo est qui neget secundum mores dari. 

BOOK III. vin. 9-13 

to have imitated these authors in his Jugurthine War 
and in the introduction to his Catiline, which has no 
connection with his narrative. 

But it is time for me to return to deliberative oratory 10 
in which, even when we introduce an exordium, we 
must content ourselves with a brief prelude, which 
may amount to no more than a mere heading. As 
regards the statement of facts, this is never required in 
speeches on private subjects, at least as regards the 
subject on w r hich an opinion has to be given, because 
everyone is acquainted with the question at issue. 
Statements as to external matters which are relevant 1 1 
to the discussion may however frequently be intro- 
duced. In addressing public assemblies it will often 
be necessary to set forth the order of the points 
which have to be treated. As regards appeals to the 12 
emotions, these are especially necessary in deliberative 
oratory. Anger has frequently to be excited or 
assuaged and the minds of the audience have to be 
swayed to fear, ambition, hatred, reconciliation. At 
times again it is necessary to awaken pity, whether it 
is required, for instance, to urge that relief should be 
sent to a besieged city, or we are engaged in deplor- 
ing the overthrow of an allied state. But what really 
carries greatest weight in deliberative speeches is the 
authority of the speaker. For he, who would have 13 
all men trust his judgment as to what is expedient 
and honourable, should both possess and be re- 
garded as possessing genuine wisdom and excellence 
of character. In forensic speeches the orator may, 
according to the generally received opinion, indulge 
his passion to some extent. But all will agree that 
the advice given by a speaker should be in keeping 
with his moral character. 



14 Graecorum quidem plnrirai omne hoc oflicium 
contionale esse iudicaverunt et in sola reipublicae 
administratione posuerunt. Quin et Cicero in hac 
maxime parte versatur. Ideoque suasuris de pace, 
bello, copiis, operibus, vectigalibus haec duo esse 
praecipue nota voluit, vires civitatis et mores, ut ex 
natura cum ipsarum rerum turn audientium ratio 

ID suadendi duceretur. Nobis maior in re videtur 
varietas, nam et consultantium et consiliorum plu- 
rima sunt genera. 

Quare in suadendo et dissuadendo tria primum 
spectanda erunt, quid sit de quo deliberetur, qui 

16 sint qui deliberent, qui sit qui suadeat. Rem, de 
qua deliberatur, aut certum est posse fieri aut 
incertum. Si incerturn, haec erit quaestio sola aut 
potentissima ; saepe enim accidet, ut prius dicamus, 
ne si possit quidem fieri, esse faciendum, deinde 
fieri non posse. Cum autem de hoc quaeritur, 
coniectura est, an Isthmos intercidi, an siccari 
palus Pomptina, an portus fieri Ostiae possit, an 
Alexander terras ultra Oceanum sit inventurus. 

17 Sed in iis quoque quae constabit posse fieri, con- 
iectura aliquando erit, si quaeretur, an utique 
futurum sit, ut Carthaginem superent Romani ; ut 

1 dc Orat. ii. 82 

The theme of a suasoria of the elder Seneca (Suas. i.). 
Alexander deliberates whether to sail forth into the ocean." 


BOOK III. vni. 14-17 

The majority of Greek writers have held that this 14 
kind of oratory is entirely concerned with addressing 
public assemblies and have restricted it to politics. 
Even Cicero l himself deals chiefly with this depart- 
ment. Consequently those who propose to offer advice 
upon peace, war, troops, public works or revenue must 
thoroughly acquaint themselves with two things, the 
resources of the state and the character of its people, 
so that the method employed in tendering their ad- 
vice may be based at once on political realities and 
the nature of their hearers. This type of oratory 15 
seems to me to offer a more varied field for eloquence, 
since both those who ask for advice and the answers 
given to them may easily present the greatest diversity. 

Consequently there are three points which must 
be specially borne in mind in advice or dissuasion : 
first the nature of the subject under discussion, 
secondly the nature of those who are engaged in the 
discussion, and thirdly the nature of the speaker who 
offers them advice. As to the subject under discussion 16 
its practicability is either certain or uncertain. In 
the latter case this will be the chief, if not 
the only point for consideration ; for it will often 
happen that we shall assert first that something 
ought not to be done, even if it can be done, and 
secondly, that it cannot be done. Now when 
the question turns on such points as to whether the 
Isthmus can be cut through, the Pontine Marshes 
drained, or a harbour constructed at Ostia, or whether 
Alexander is likely to find land beyond the Ocean, 2 
we make use of conjecture. But even in connection 17 
with things that are undoubtedly feasible, there may 
at times be room for conjecture, as for instance in 
questions such as whether Rome is ever likely to 



redeat Hannibal, si Scipio exercitum in Africam 
transtulerit ; ut servant fidem Samnites, si Romani 
arma deposuerint. Quaedam et fieri posse et futura 
esse credibile est, sed aut alio tempore aut alio loco 
aut alio modo. 

18 Ubi coniecturae non erit locus, alia sunt intuenda. 
Et primum aut propter ipsam rem, de qua senten- 
tiae rogantur, consultabitur aut propter alias inter- 
venientes extrinsecus causas. Propter ipsam de- 
liberant Patres conscripti, an stipendium militi 

19 constituant ? Haec materia simplex erit. Accedunt 
causae aut faciendi, ut deliberant patres conscripti, 
an Fabios dedant Gallis belluin minitantibus ; aut 
non faciendi, ut deliberat C. Caesar, an perseveret 
in Germaniam ire, cum milites passim testamenta 

20 facerent. Hae suasoriae duplices sunt. Nam et 
illic causa deliberandi est, quod bellum Galli mini- 
tentur ; esse tamen potest quaestio, dedendine 
fuerint etiam citra hanc denuntiationem, qui contra 
fas, cum legati missi essent, proelium inierint, 
regemque, ad quern mandata acceperant, truci- 

21 darint. Et hie nihil Caesar sine dubio deliberaret 
nisi propter hanc militum perturbationem ; est 
tamen locus quaerendi, an citra hunc quoque casum 

1 sc. at the Caudine Forks : see above, 3. 

2 See Livy, v. 36. 

3 See Caesar, Gallic War, i. 39, where this detail is 
recorded, also 40 where the speech made to his troops is 


BOOK III. vin. 17-21 

conquer Carthage, whether Hannibal will return to 
Africa if Scipio transports his army thither, or whether 
the Samnites are likely to keep faith if the Romans 
lay down their arms. 1 There are some things too 
which we may believe to be both feasible and likely 
to be carried into effect, but at another time or place 
or in another way. 

When there is no scope for conjecture, our atten- 18 
tion will be fixed on other points. In the first place 
advice will be asked either on account of the actual 
thing on which the orator is required to express his 
views, or on account of other causes which affect it 
from without. It is on the actual thing that the 
senate for instance debates, when it discusses such 
questions as whether it is to vote pay for the troops. 
In this case the material is simple. To this however 19 
may be added reasons for taking action or the reverse, 
as for example if the senate should discuss whether 
it should deliver the Fabii to the Gauls when the 
latter threaten war, 2 or Gaius Caesar should deliberate 
whether he should persist in the invasion of Germany, 
when his soldiers on all sides are making their wills. 3 
These deliberative themes are of a twofold nature. 20 
In the first case the reason for deliberation is the 
Gallic threat of war, but there may still be a further 
question as to whether even without such threat of 
war they should surrender those who, contrary to the 
law of nations, took part in a battle when they had 
been sent out as ambassadors and killed the king 
with whom they had received instructions to treat. 
In the second case Caesar would doubtless never deli- 21 
berate on the question at all, but for the perturbation 
shown by his soldiers ; but there is still room for 
enquiry whether quite apart from this occurrence it 



penetrandum in Germaniara fuerit. Semper autem 
de eo prius loquemur, de quo deliberari etiam 
detractis sequentibus possit. 

Partes suadendi quidam putaverunt honestum, 
utile, necessarium. Ego non invenio huic tertiae 
locum. Quantalibet enini vis ingruat, aliquid for- 
tasse pati necesse sit, nihil facere ; de faciendo 

23 autem deliberatur. Quodsi hanc vocant necessita- 
tem, in quam homines graviorum metu coguntur, 
utilitatis erit quaestio ; ut si obsessi et impares et 
aqua ciboque defecti de facienda ad hostem dedi- 
tione deliberent et dicatur, necesse est ; nempe 
sequitur, ut hoc subiiciatur, alioqui pereundum est : 
ita propter id ipsum non est necesse, quia perire 
potius licet. Denique non fecerunt Saguntini nee 

24 in rate Opitergina circumvent!. Igitur in his quo- 
que causis aut de sola utilitate ambigetur aut quae- 
stio inter utile atque honestum consistet. At enim 
si quis liberos procreare volet, necesse habet ducere 
uxorem. Quis dubitat? sed ei, qui pater vult fieri, 

25 liqueat necesse est uxorem esse ducendam. Itaque 
mihi ne consilium quidem videtur, ubi necessitas est, 
non magis quam ubi constat, quid fieri non possit. 

1 In 218 B.C., when besieged by Hannibal. See Livy, 
xxi. 14. 

i C. Antonius was blockaded in an island off the Dalmatian 
coast which he held for Caesar 49 B.C. Reinforcements on 
rafts were sent to his rescue. Most were captured ; but in 
one case, of a raft carrying 1,000 men from Opitergium in 


BOOK III. vin. 21-25 

would be wise to penetrate into Germany. But it 
must be remembered that we shall always speak first 
on that subject winch is capable of discussion quite 
apart from the consequences. 

Some have held that the three main considerations 22 
in an advisory speech are honour, expediency and 
necessity. 1 can find no place for the last. For how- 
ever great the violence which may threaten us, it may 
be necessary for us to suffer something, but we are not 
compelled to do anything ; whereas the subject of 
deliberation is primarily whether we shall do any thing. 
Or if by necessity they mean that into which we are 23 
driven by fear of worse things, the question will be one 
of expediency. For example, if a garrison is besieged 
by overwhelmingly superior forces and, owing to the 
failure of food and water supplies, discusses surrender 
to the enemy, and it is urged that it is a matter of 

** * 

necessity, the words " otherwise we shall perish " must 
needs be added : consequently there is no necessity 
arising out of the circumstances themselves, for death 
is a possible alternative. And as a matter of fact the 
Saguntines 1 did not surrender, nor did those who were 
surrounded on the raft from Opitcrgium. 2 It follows 24 
that in such cases also the question will be either one 
of expediency alone or of a choice betw r een expedi- 
ency and honour. " But," it will be urged, " if a man 
would beget children, he is under the necessity of 
taking a wife." Certainly. But he who wishes to 

O ^ 

become a father must needs be quite clear that he 
must take a wife. It appears to me, therefore, that 25 
where necessity exists, there is no room for delibera- 
tion, any more than where it is clear that a thing is 

Venetia, surrender was scorned and the men slew each other 
rather than yield. See Lucan, iv. 462; Florus, ii. 33. 



Omnis enim deliberatio de dubiis est. Melius igitur, 
qui tertiam partem dixerunt Swarov, quod nostri 
possibile nominant, quae ut dura videatur appellatio, 

26 tamen sola est. Quas partes non omnes in omnem 
cadere suasoriam manifestius est, quara ut docendum 
sit. Tamen apud plerosque eavum numerus augetur, 
a quibus ponuntur ut partes, quae superiorum species 
sunt partium. Nam fas, iustum, pium, aequum, 
mansuetum quoque (sic enim sunt interpretati TO 
r/jufpov) et si qua adhuc adiicere quis eiusdem generis 

27 velit, subiici possunt honestati. An sit autem facile, 
magnum, iucundum, sine periculo, ad quaestionem 
pertinet utilitatis. Qui loci oriuntur ex contradic- 
tione : Est quidem utile sed difficile, panwm, iniucun- 

28 dum, periculosum. Tamen quibusdam videtur csse 
nonnunquam de iucunditate sola consultatio, ut si 
de aedificando theatro, instituendis ludis deliberetur. 
Sed neminem adeo solutum luxu puto, ut nihil in 

29 causa suadendi sequatur praeter voluptatem. Prae- 
cedat enim semper aliquid necesse est, ut in ludis 
honor deorum, in theatro non inutilis laborum re- 
missio, deformis et incommoda turbae, si id non sit, 

BOOK III. vin. 25-29 

not feasible. For deliberation is always concerned 
with questions where some doubt exists. Those 
therefore are wiser who make the third consideration 
for deliberative oratory to be TO Swarov or "possibility" 
as we translate it ; the translation may seem clumsy, 
but it is the only word available. That all these 26 
considerations need not necessarily obtrude them- 
selves in every case is too obvious to need explanation. 
Most writers, however, say that there are more than 
three. But the further considerations which they 
would add are really but species of the three general 
considerations just mentioned. For right, justice, 
piety, equity and mercy (for thus they translate TO 
rjp.(pov], with any other virtues that anyone may be 
pleased to add, all come under the heading of that 
which is honourable. On theother hand, if the question 27 
be whether a thing is easy, great, pleasant or free from 
danger, it comes under questions of expediency. Such 
topics arise from some contradiction ; for example a 
thing is expedient, but difficult, or trivial, or un- 
pleasant, or dangerous. Some however hold that at 28 
timesdeliberationis concerned solely with thequestion 
whether a thing is pleasant, as for instance when dis- 
cussion arises as to whether a theatre should be built or 
games instituted. But in my opinion you will never 
find any man such a slave to luxury as not to consider 
anything but pleasure when he delivers an advisory 
speech. For there must needs be something on every 29 
occasion that takes precedence of pleasure : in propos- 
ing the institution of public games there is the honour 
due to the gods ; in proposing the erection of a 
theatre the orator will consider the advantages to be 
derived from relaxation f^om toil, and the unbecoming 
and undesirable struggle for places which will arise if 



conHictatio, et nihilominus eadem ilia religio, cum 
theatrum veluti quoddam illius sacri templum voca- 

30 bimus. Saepe vero et utilitatem despiciendam esse 
dicimus, ut honesta faciamus, ut cum illis Opiter- 
ginis damns consilium, ne se hostibus dedant, quan- 
quam perituri sint, nisi fecerint; et utilia honestis 
praeferimus, ut cum suademus, ut bello Punico servi 

31 armentur. Sed neque hie plane concedendum est 
esse id inhonestum, liberos enim natura omnes et 
eisdem constare elementis et fortasse antiquis etiam 
nobilibus ortos dici potest ; et illic, ubi manifestum 
periculum est, opponenda alia, ut crudelius etiam 
perituros adfirmemus, si se dediderint, sive hostisnon 
servaverit fidem, sive Caesar vicerit, quod est vero 

32 similius. Haec autem, quae tantum inter se pug- 
nant, plerumque nominibus deflecti solent. Nam 
et utilitas ipsa expugnatur ab iis, qui dicunt, non 
solum potiora esse honesta quam utilia, sed ne utilia 
quidem esse, quae non sint honesta ; et contra, quod 
nos honestum, illi vanum, ambitiosum, stolid urn, 

33 verbis quam re probabilius vocant. Nee tantum 
inutilibus comparantur utilia, sed inter se quoque 
ipsa, ut si ex duobus eligamus, in altero quid sit 
magis, in altero quid sit minus. Crescit hoc adhuc. 
Nam interim triplices etiam suasoriae incidunt : ut 
cum Pompeius deliberabat, Parthos an Africam an 
Aegyptum peteret. Ita non tantum, utrum melius 

1 After the battle of Cannae : Livy, xxii. 57. 
8 After his defeat at Pharsalus. 


BOOK III. viii. 29-33 

there is no proper accommodation ; religion, too, has 
its place in the discussion, for we shall describe the 
theatre as a kind of temple for the solemnization of a 
sacred feast. Often again we shall urge that honour 30 
must come before expediency ; as for instance when 
we advise the men of Opitergium not to surrender to 
the enemy, even though refusal to do so means 
certain death. At times on the other hand we prefer 
expediency to honour, as when we advise the arming 
of slaves in the Punic War. 1 But even in this case we 31 
must not openly admit that such a course is dishon- 
ourable : we can point out that all men are free by 
nature and composed of the same elements, while 
the slaves in question may perhaps be sprung 
from some ancient and noble stock ; and in the 
former case when the danger is so evident, 
we may add other arguments, such as that they 
would perish even more cruelly if they surrendered, 
should the enemy fail to keep faith, or Caesar (a 
more probable supposition) prove victorious. But 32 
in such a conflict of principles it is usual to modify 
the names which we give them. For expediency is 
often ruled out by those who assert not merely that 
honour comes before expediency, but that nothing 
can be expedient that is not honourable, while others 
say that what we call honour is vanity, ambition and 
folly, as contemptible in substance as it is fair in 
sound. Nor is expediency compared merely with 33 
inexpediency. At times we have to choose between 
two advantageous courses after comparison of their 
respective advantages. The problem may be still 
more complicated, as for instance when Pompey 
deliberated whether to go to Parthia, Africa or 
Egypt. 2 In such a case the enquiry is not which of 



sed quid sit optimum > quaeritur, itemque contra. 

34 Nee unquam incidet in hoc genere materiae dubi- 
tatio rei, quae undique sccundum nos sit. Nam ubi 
contradiction! locus non est, quae potest esse causa 
dubitandi ? Ita fere omnis suasoria nihil est aliud 
quam comparatio, videndumque, quid consecuturi 
simus et per quid, ut aestimari possit, plus in eo 
quod petimus sit comiiiodi, an vero in eo per quod 

35 petimus incommodi. Est utilitatis et in tempore 
quaestio, expedit sed non nunc ; ct in loco, non hie; 
et in persona, non nobis, non contra hos ; et in genere 
agendi, non sic ; et in modo, non in tantum. 

Sed personam saepius decoris gratia intuemur, 
quae et in nobis et in iis, qui deliberant, spectanda 

36 est. Itaque quamvis exempla plurimum in consiliis 
possint, quia facillime ad consentiendum homines 
ducuntur experiments, refert tamen, quorum auc- 
toritas et quibus adhibeatur. Diversi sunt enim 

37 deliberantium animi, duplex condicio. Nam con- 
sultant aut plures aut singuli ; sed in utrisque diffe- 
rentia, quia et in pluribus multum interest, senatus 


BOOK III. vni. 33-37 

two courses is better or worse, but which of three or 
more. On the other hand in deliberative oratory there 34 
will never be any doubt about circumstances wholly 
in our favour. For there can clearly be no doubt about 
points against which there is nothing to be said. 
Consequently as a rule all deliberative speeches are 
based simply on comparison, and we must consider 
what we shall gain and by what means, that it may be 

o / / 

possible to form an estimate whether there is more 
advantage in the aims we pursue or greater disadvan- 
tage in the means we employ to that end. A 35 
question of expediency may also be concerned with 
time (for example, "it is expedient, but not now") 
or with place (" it is expedient, but not here ") or 
with particular persons ("it is expedient, but not for 
us " or " not as against these ") or with our method of 
action (" it is expedient, but not thus") or with 
degree ("it is expedient, but not to this extent "). 

But we have still more often to consider per- 
sonality with reference to what is becoming, and we 
must consider our own as well as that of those 
before whom the question is laid. Consequently, 30 
though examples are of the greatest value in 
deliberative speeches, because reference to his- 
torical parallels is the quickest method of secur- 
ing assent, it matters a great deal whose authority 
is adduced and to whom it is commended. For 
the minds of those who deliberate on any sub- 
ject differ from one another and our audience may 
be of two kinds. For those who ask us for ad- 3"? 
vice are either single individuals or a number, and 
in both cases the factors may be different. For 
when advice is asked by a number of persons it 
makes a considerable difference whether they are 



sic an popuius, llomani an Fidenates, Gracci an 
barbari, et in singulis, Catoni petendos honores stia- 
deamus an C. Mario, de ratione belli Scipio prior an 

:^S Fabi;is deliberet. Froinde intuenda sexus, dignitas, 
aetas. Sed mores praceipue discrimen dabunt. Et 
honesta quidem honestis snadere facillimum est; si 
vero apud turpes recta obtinere conabimur, ne vide- 
amur exprobrare diversam vitae seetam, cavendum. 

:i9 Et animus dcliberantis non ipsa honesti natura, quam 
lile non respicit, perniovendiiSj sed laude, vul^i 
opinione, et si parum proiiciet haec vanitas, secutura 
ex his utilitate, aliquanto vero magis obiiciendo 

40 aliquos, si diversa fecerint, metus. Nanujue praeter 
id (juod liis levissimi cuiiisqiic animus fucillime ter- 
retur, nescio an etiam naturaliter apiul plurimos plus 
valcat malorum timor quam spes bonorum, sicut 
facilior eisdem turpium quam honestorum intellectus 

41 est. Aliquando b'onis quoque suadentur parum de- 
cora, dantur parum bonis consilia, in quibus ipsorum 
qui corisulunt spectatur utilitas. Nee me fallit, quae 
statim co^itatio sulnre possit legentem : Hoc ergo 

42 prarripis ? et hoc fas putas ? Poterat me lil>erare 
Cicero, qui ita scribit acl Brutum, praepositis plurimis, 

1 Th" 1'ticr is lost. The argument of the quotation is as 
follows. The policy which I advise- is honourable, but it 
\vould be wroni; for me to urge Caesar to follow it, since it is 
contrary to his interests. 

4Q 8 

BOOK III. vin. 37-42 

the senate or the people, the citizens of Rome or 
Fidenae, Greeks or barbarians, and in the case of 
single individuals, whether we are urging Cato or 

o ci o 

Gains Marius to stand for office, whether it is the 
elder Scipio or Fabius who is deliberating on his plan 
of campaign. Further sex, rank, and age, must be 38 
taken into account, though it is character that will 
make the chief difference. It is an easy task to 
recommend an honourable course to honourable 
men, but if we are attempting to keep men of bad 
character to the paths of virtue, we must take care 
not to seem to upbraid a way of life unlike our own. 
The minds of such an audience are not to be moved 39 
by discoursing on the nature of virtue, which they 
ignore, but by praise, by appeals to popular opinion, 
and if such vanities are of no avail, by demonstration 


of the advantage that will accrue from such a policy, 
or more effectively perhaps by pointing out the 
appalling consequences that will follow the opposite 
policy. For quite apart from the fact that the minds 40 
of unprincipled men are easily swayed by terror, I 
am not sure that most men's minds are not more 
easily influenced by fear of evil than by hope of 
good, for they find it easier to understand what is 
evil than what is good. Sometimes again we urge 41 
good men to adopt a somewhat unseemly course, 
while we advise men of poor character to take a 
course in which the object is the advantage of 
those who seek our advice. I realise the thought 
that will immediately occur to my reader : " Do you 
then teach that this should be done or think it 
right?' Cicero 1 might clear me from blame in the 
matter ; for he writes to Brutus in the following 
terms, after setting forth a number of things that 



quae honeste suaderi Caesari possint : Simne bonus 
rir, si haec suadeam ? Wmime. Stiasoris enim finis est 
utilitas cius, cui qmsque suadct. At recta sunt. Quis 
ncgat ? sed non est semper rectis in suadendo locus. 
Sed quia est altior quaestio nee tantum ad suasorias 
pertinet, destinatus est mihi hie locus duodecimo, 

43 qui summus futurus est, libro. Xec ego quidquam 
fieri turpiter velim. Verum interim haec vel ad 
scholarum exercitationes pertinere credantur, nam 
et iniquorum ratio noscenda est, ut melius aequa 

44 tueamur. Interim si quis hono inhonesta suadebit. 
meminerit non suadere tanquam inhonesta, ut qui- 
dam declamatores Sextum Pompeium ad ])iraticam 
propter hoc ipsum quod turpis et crudelis sit, iinpel- 
lunt; sed dandus illis deformibus color idque etiam 
apud malos. Neque enim quisquam est tarn mains, 

A5 ut videri vel it. Sic Catilina apud Sallustium loqui- 
tur, ut rem sceleratissimam non malitia, sed indig- 
natione videatur audere. Sic Atreus apud Varium : 
lam fero (inquit) infandissima, lam facer e co^or. 
Quanto ma^is eis, quibus cura famae fuit, conser- 

46 vandus est hie velut ambitus ? Quare et, cum 
Ciceroni dabimus consilium, ut Antonium roget, vel 
etiam ut Philippicas (ita vitam j)ollicente eo) exurat, 
non cupiditatem lucis allegabimus (haec enim si 

1 Chap. xii. 2 Cat. xx. 

8 For examples of this theme see the elder Seneca (Siias. 
vi. and vii.). 


BOOK III. viii. 42-46 

might honourably be urged on Caesar : " Should I be 
a good man to advise this ? No. For the end of him 
who gives advice is the advantage of the man to 
whom he gives it. But, you say, your advice is right. 
Certainly, but there is not always room for what 
is right in giving advice." However, this is a 
somewhat abstruse question, and does not concern 
deliberative oratory alone. I shall therefore reserve 
it for my twelfth and concluding book. 1 For my part 43 
I would not have anything done dishonourably. But 
for the meantime let us regard these questions as at 
least belonging to the rhetorical exercises of the 
schools : for knowledge of evil is necessary to enable 
us the better to defend what is right. For the 44 
present I will only say that if anyone is going to urge 
a dishonourable course on an honourable man, he 
should remember not to urge it as being dishonour- 
able, and should avoid the practice of certain de- 
claimers who urge Sextus Pompeius to piracy just 
because it is dishonourable and cruel. Even when we 
address bad men, we should gloss over what is un- 
sightly. For there is no man so evil as to wish to 
seem so. Thus Sallust makes Catiline 2 speak as one 45 
who is driven to crime not by wickedness but by in- 
dignation, and Varius makes Atreus say : 

" My wrongs are past all speech, 
And such shall be the deeds they force me to." 

How much more has this pretence of honour to be 
kept up by those who have a real regard for their 
own good name ! Therefore when we advise Cicero 46 
to beg Antonius for mercy or even to burn the 
Philippics if Antonius promises to spare him on that 
condition, 3 we shall not emphasise the love of life in 
our advice (for if that passion has any force with 


valet in animo eius, tacentibus quoque nobis valet), 

47 seel ut reipublicae se servet hortabiraur. Hac illi 
opus est occasione, ne eum tali um precum pudeat. 
Et C. Caesari suadentes regnum adfirmabimus stare 
iam rempublicam nisi uno regente non posse. Nam 
qui de re nefaria deliberat, id solum quaerit, quo- 
modo quam minimum peccare videatur. 

48 Multum refert etiam, quae sit persona suadentis; 
quia anteacta vita si illustris fuit aut clarius genus 
aut aetas aut fortuna adfert expectationem, provi- 
dendum est, ne quae dicuntur ab eo (jui dicit dis- 
sentiant. At his contraria summissiorem quendam 
modum postulant. Nam quae in aliis libertas est, in 
aliis licentia vocatur, et quibusdam sufficit auctoritas, 
quosdam ratio ipsa aegre tuetur. 

49 Ideoque longe mihi difficillimae videntur prosopo- 
poeiae, in quibus ad reliquum suasoriae laborem 
accedit etiam personae difficultas. Namque idem 
illud aliter Caesar, aiiter Cicero, aliter Cato suadere 
debebit. Utilissima vero haec exercitatio, vel quod 
duplicis est operis, vel quod poetis quoque aut 
histoiiarum futuris scriptoribus plurimum confert 

60 Verum et oratoribus necessaria. Nam sunt multae 
a Graecis Latinisque compositae orationes, quibus 
alii uterentur, ad quorum condicionem vitarnque 

1 Julius Caesar. 

BOOK III. viii. 46-50 

him, it will have it none the less if we are silent), 
but we shall exhort him to save himself in the in- 
terest of the state. For he needs some such reason 47 
as that to preserve him from, feeling shame at en- 
treating such a one as Antony. Again if we urge 
Gaius Caesar l to accept the crown we shall assert 
that the state is doomed to destruction unless con- 
trolled by a monarchy. For the sole aim of the man 
who is deliberating about committing a criminal act 
is to make his act appear as little wicked as possible. 

It also makes a great deal of difference who it is 48 
that is offering the advice : for if his past has been 
illustrious, or if his distinguished birth or age or 
fortune excite high expectations, care must be taken 
that his words are not unworthy of him. If on the 
other hand he has none of these advantages he will 
have to adopt a humbler tone. For what is regarded 
as liberty in some is called licence in others. Some 
receive sufficient support from their personal 
authority, while others find that the force of reason 
itself is scarce sufficient to enable them to maintain 
their position. 

Consequently I regard impersonation as the most 49 
difficult of tasks, imposed as it is in addition to the 
other work involved by a deliberative theme. For 
the same speaker has on one occasion to impersonate 
Caesar, on another Cicero or Cato. But it is a most 
useful exercise because it demands a double effort 
and is also of the greatest use to future poets and 
historians, while for orators of course it is absolutely 
necessary. For there are many speeches composed 50 
by Greek and Latin orators for others to deliver, the 
words of which had to be adapted to suit the posi- 
tion and character of those for whom they were 



aptanda quae dicebantur fuerunt. An eodem modo 
cogitavit aut eandem personam induit Cicero, cum 
scriberet Cn. Pompeio et cum T. Ampio ceterisve ; 
ac non uniuscuiusque eorum fortunam, dignitatem, 
res gestas intuitus omnium, quibus vocem dabat, 
etiam imaginem expressit? ut melius quidem sed 

51 tamen ipsi dicere viderentur. Neque enim minus 
vitiosa est oratio, si ab homine quam si ab re, cui 
accommodari debuit, dissidet ; ideoque Lysias optime 
videtur in iis, quae scribebat indoctis, servasse veri- 
tatis fidem. Enimvero praecipue declamatoribus 
considerandum est, quid cuique personae conveniat, 
qui paucissimas controversias ita dicunt ut advocati, 
plerumque filii, parentes, divites, senes, aspen, lenes, 
avari, denique superstitiosi, timidi, derisores fiunt ; 
ut vix comoediarum actoribus plures habitus in pro- 
nuntiando concipiendi sint quam his in dicendo. 

52 Quae omnia possunt videri prosopopoeiae, quam ego 
suasoriis subieci, quia nullo alio ab iis quam per- 
sona distat. Quanquam haec aliquando etiam in 
controversias ducitur, quae ex historiis compositae 

53 certis agentium nominibus continentur. Neque 
ignore plerumque exercitationis gratia poni et 
poeticas et historicas, ut Priami verba apud Achillem 

1 Nothing is known of these speeches. 

BOOK III. vm. 50-53 

written. Do you suppose that Cicero thought in the 
same way or assumed the same character when he 
wrote for Gnaeus Pompeius and when he wrote for 
Titus Ampius and the rest ? l Did he not rather bear 
in mind the fortune, rank and achievements of each 
single individual and represent the character of all 
to whom he gave a voice so that though they spoke 
better than they could by nature, they still might 
seem to speak in their own persons ? For a speech 51 
which is out of keeping with the man who delivers 
it is just as faultv as the speech which fails to suit 
the subject to which it should conform. It is for 
this reason that Lysias is regarded as having shown 
the highest art in the speeches which he wrote for 
uneducated persons, on account of their extraordin- 
ary realism. In the case of declaimers indeed it is 
of the first importance that they should consider 
what best suits each character : for they rarely play 
the role of advocates in their declamations. As a 
rule they impersonate sons, parents, rich men, old 
men, gentle or harsh of temper, misers, superstiti- 
ous persons, cowards and mockers, so that hardly 
even comic actors have to assume more numerous 
roles in their performances on the stage than 
these in their declamations. All these roles may 52 
be regarded as forming part of impersonation, 
which I have included under deliberative themes, 
from which it differs merely in that it involves the 
assumption of a role. It is sometimes introduced 
even with controversial themes, which are drawn 
from history and involve the appearance of definite 
historical characters as pleaders. I am aware also 53 
that historical and poetical themes are often set for 
the sake of practice, such as Priam's speech to 



aut Sullae dictaturam deponentis in contione. Seel 
haec in partem cedent trium generum, in quae 
causas divisimus. Nam et rogare, indicare, rationem 
reddere et alia, de quibus supra dictum est, varie 
atque ut res tulit in materia iudiciali, deliberativa, 

54 demons trativa, solemus. Frequentissime vero in iis 
utimur ficta personarum, quas ipsi substituimus, 
oratione, ut apud Ciceronem pro Caelio Clodiam et 
Caecus Appius et Clodius frater, ille in castiga- 
tionem, hie in exhortationem vitiorum compositus, 

55 Solent in scholis fingi materiae ad deliberandum 
similiores controversiis et ex utroque genere com- 
mixtne, ut cum apud C. Caesarem consultatio de 
poena Theodoti ponitui. Constat enim accusatione 
et defensione causa eius, quod est iudicialium pro- 

56 prium. Permixta tamen est et utilitatis ratio, an 
pro Caesare fuerit occidi Pompeium, an timendum 
a rege bellum, si Theodotus sit occisus, an id 
minime opportunum hoc tempore et periculosum et 

67 certe longum sitfuturum. Quaeritur et de honesto, 
deceatne Caesarem ultio Pompeii, an sit veren- 
dum, ne peiorem faciat suarum partium causam, si 

58 Pompeiurn indignum morte fateatur. Quod genus 
accidere etiam veritati potest. 

1 xiv. sqg 


BOOK III. vin. 53-58 

Achilles or Sulla's address to the people on his 
resignation of the dictatorship. But these will fall 
under one or other of the three classes into which 
I have divided causes. For entreaty, statement, 

/ - * 

and argument, with other themes already mentioned, 
are all of frequent occurrence in forensic, deliberative 
or demonstrative subjects, according as circumstances 
demand, and we often introduce fictitious speeches 54 
of historical persons, whom we select ourselves. 
Cicero for instance in the pro Caclio l makes both 
Appius Caecus and her brother Clodius address 
Clodia, the former rebuking her for her immorality, 
the latter exhorting her thereto. 

In scholastic declamations the fictitious themes for 55 
deliberative speeches are often not unlike those of 
controversial speeches and are a compromise between 
the two forms, as for instance when the theme set is 
a discussion in the presence of Gaius Caesar of the 
punishment to be meted out to Theodotus ; for it con- 
sists of accusation and defence, both of them peculiar 
to forensic oratory. But the topic of expediency also 56 
enters into the case, in such questions as whether it 
was to Caesar's advantage that Pompeius should be 
slain ; whether the execution of Theodotus would 
involve the risk of a war with the king of Egypt; 
whether such a war would be highly inopportune at 
such a critical moment, would prove dangerous and 
be certain to last a long time. There is also a question 57 
of honour. Does it befit Caesar to avenge Pompeius' 
death ? or is it to be feared that an admission that 
Pompeius did not deserve death will injure the cause 
of the Caesarian party ? It may be noted that dis- 58 
cussions of such a kind may well occur in actual 



Non simplex autem circa suasorias error in pleris- 
que declamatoribus fuit, qui dicendi genus in iis 
diversum atque in totum illi iudiciali contrarium esse 
existimaverunt. Nam et principia abrupta et con- 
citatam semper orationem et in verbis effusiorem, ut 
ipsi vocant, cultum adfectaverunt, et earum breviores 
utique commentarios quam legalis materiae facere 
50 laborarunt. Ego porro ut prooemio video non utique 
opus esse suasoriis, propter quas dixi supra causas, 
ita cur initio furioso sit exclamandum, non intelligo ; 
cum proposita consultatione rogatus sententiam, si 
modo est sanus, non quintet, sed quam maxime 
potest civili et humano ingressu mereri adsensum 

60 deliberantis velit. Cur autem torrens et utique 
aequaliter concitata sit in ea dicentis oratio, cum vel 
praeeipue moderationem consilia desiderent ? Neque 
ego negaverim, saepius subsidere in controversiis 
impetum dicendi prooemio, narratione, argumentis ; 
quae si detrahas, id fere supererit, quo suasoriae 
constant, verum id quoque aequalius erit non tumul- 

61 tuosius atque turbidius. Verborum autem magnifi- 
centia non validius est adfectanda suasorias decla- 
mantibus, sed contingit magis ; nam et personae 
fere magnae fmgentibus placent, regum, principum, 


BOOK III. vin 58-61 

Declaimers have however often been guilty of an 
error as regards deliberative themes which has in- 
volved a series of consequences. They have con- 
sidered deliberative themes to be different and 
absolutely opposed to forensic themes. For they have 
always affected abrupt openings, an impetuous style 
and a generous embellishment, as they call it, in their 
language, and have been especially careful to make 
shorter notes for deliberative than for forensic themes. 


For my part while I realise that deliberative themes 69 
do not require an exordium, for reasons which I have 
already stated, I do not, however, understand why 
they should open in such a wild and exclamatory 
manner. When a man is asked to express his opinion 
on any subject, he does not, if he is sane, begin to 
shriek, but endeavours as far as possible to win the 
assent of the man who is considering the question by 
a courteous and natural opening. Why, I ask, in 60 
view of the fact that deliberations require moderation 
above all else, should the speaker on such themes in- 
dulge in a torrential style of eloquence kept at one 
high level of violence ? I acknowledge that in con- 
troversial speeches the tone is often lowered in the 
exordium, the statement of facts and the argument, and 
that if you subtract these three portions, the re- 
mainder is more or less of the deliberative type of 
speech, but what remains must likewise be of a more 
even flow, avoiding all violence and fury. With 61 
regard to magnificence of language, deliberative de- 
claimers should avoid straining after it more than 
others, but it comes to them more naturally. For 
there is a preference among those who invent such 
themes for selecting great personages, such as kings, 
princes, senators and peoples, while the theme itself 



senatus, populi et res ampliores ; ita cum verba rebus 
G2 apU-nlur, ipso materiae nitore clarescunt. Alia 
veris consiliis ratio est, ideoque Theophrastus quam 
maxime remotum ab omni adfectione in deliberative 
genere voluit esse sermonem, secutus in hoc aucto- 
ritatem praeceptoris sui, quanquam dissentire ab eo 

63 non timide solet. Namque Aristoteles idoneam 
maxime ad scribendum demonstrativam proxirnam- 
que ab ea iudicialem putavit, videlicet quoniam prior 
ilia tota esset ostentationis, haec secunda egeret 
artis, vel ad fallendum, si ita poposcisset utilitas, 

64 consilia fide prudentiaque constarent. Quibus in 
demonstrativa consentio, nam et omnes alii scrip- 
tores idem tradiderunt ; in iudiciis autem consiliisque 
secundum condicionem ipsius, quae tractabitur, rei 

65 accommodandam dicendi credo rationem. Nam et 
Phiiippicas Demosthenis iisdem quibus habitas in 
iudiciis orationes video eminere virtutibus, et Cice- 
ronis sententiae et contiones non minus clarum, 
quam est in accusationibus ac defensionibus, elo- 
quentiae lumen ostendunt. Dicit tamen idem de 
suasoria hoc modo : Tota autem oratio simplex et grams 

66 et xen(c?iliis debet omalior esse quam verbis. Usum 
exemplorum nulli materiae magis convenire merito 
fere omnes conseiitiunt, cum plerumque videantur 

1 Rhet. iii. 12. 2 Pa;^. or. xxvii. 97. 

BOOK III. viii. 61-66 

is generally on a grander scale. Consequently since 
the words are suited to the theme, they acquire 
additional splendour from the magnificence of the 
matter. In actual deliberations the case is different, 62 
and consequently Theophrastus laid it down that in 
the deliberative class of oratory the language should 
as far as possible be free from all affectation : in 
stating this view he followed the authority of his in- 
structor, although as a rule he is not afraid to differ 
from him. For Aristotle l held that the demonstrative 63 
type of oratory was the best suited for writing and 
that the next best was forensic oratory : his reason for 
this view was that the first type is entirely concerned 
with display, while the second requires art, which 
will even be employed to deceive the audience, if 
expedience should so demand, whereas advice requires 
only truth and prudence. I agree with this view as 64 
regards demonstrative oratory (in fact all writers are 
agreed on this point), but as regards forensic and deli- 
berative themes I think that the style must be suited to 
the requirements of the subject which has to be treated. 
For I notice that the Philippics of Demosthenes 65 
are pre-eminent for the same merits as his forensic 
speeches, and that the opinions expressed by Cicero 
before the senate or the people are as remarkable for 
the splendour of their eloquence as the speeches 
which he delivered in accusing or defending persons 
before the courts. And yet Cicero 2 says of delibera- 
tive oratory that the whole speech should be simple 
and dignified, and should derive its ornament rather 
from the sentiments expressed than the actual words. 
As regards the use of examples practically all authori- 66 
ties are with good reason agreed that there is no 
subject to which they are better suited, since as a 

5 11 


respond ere futura praeteritis, habeaturque experi- 

67 mentum velut quoddam rationis testimonium. Bre- 
vitas quoque aut copia non materiae genere sed modo 
constat. Nam ut in consiliis plerumque simplicior 
quaestio est, ita saepe in causis minor. 

Quae omnia vera esse sciet, si quis non orationes 
modo,, sed historias etiam (namque in iis contiones 
atque sententiae plerumque suadendi ac dissuadendi 
funguntur officio), legere maluerit quam in commen- 

68 tariis rhetorura consenescere. Inveniet enim nee 
in consiliis abrupta initia et concitatius saepe in 
iudiciis dictum et verba aptata rebus in utroque genere 
et breviores aliquando causarum orationes quam sen- 

69 tentiarum. Ne ilia quidem in iis vitia deprehendet, 
quibus quidam declamatores laborant, quod et contra 
sentientibus inhumane conviciantur et ita plerumque 
dicunt, tanquam ab iis qui deliberant utique dissen- 
tiant, ideoque obiurgantibus similiores sunt quam 

TO suadentibus. Haec adolescentes sibi scripta sciant, 
ne aliter quam dicturi sunt exerceri velint et in 
desuescendis morentur. Ceterum, cum advocari 

coeperint in consilia amicorum, dicere sententiam in 

BOOK III. vin. 66-70 

rule history seems to repeat itself and the experience 
of the past is a valuable support to reason. Brevity 07 
and copiousness are determined not so much by the 
nature as by the compass of the subject. For, just as 
in deliberations the question is generally less com- 
plicated, so in forensic cases it is often of less 

Anyone who is content to read not merelv speeches, 
but history as well, in preference to growing grey over 
the notebooks of the rhetoricians, will realise the 
truth of what I say : for in the historians the speeches 
delivered to the people and the opinions expressed 
in the senate often provide examples of advice and 
dissuasion. He will find an avoidance of abrupt 68 
openings in deliberative speeches and will note that 
the forensic style is often the more impetuous of the 
two, while in both cases the words are suited to the 
matter and forensic speeches are often shorter than 
deliberative. Nor will he find in them those faults into 69 
which some of our declaimers fall, namely a coarse 
abuse of those who hold opposite opinions and a 
general tendency to speak in such a way as to make 
it seem that the speaker's views are in opposition to 
those of the persons who ask his advice. Consequently 
their aim seems to be invective rather than persuasion. 
I would have my younger readers realise that these 70 
words are penned for their special benefit that they 
may not desire to adopt a different style in their 
exercises from that in which they will be required to 
speak, and may not be hampered by having to un- 
learn what they have acquired. For the rest if they 
are ever summoned to take part in the counsels of 
their friends, or to speak their opinions in the senate, 
or advise the emperor on some point on which he 


senatu, suadere si quid consulet princeps, quod 
praeceptis fortasse non credunt, usu docebuntur. 

IX. Xunc de iudiciali genere, quod est praecipue 
multiplex, sed ofiiciis constat duobus intentionis ac 
depulsionis. Cuius partes, ut plurimis auctoribus 
placuit, quinque sunt : prooemium, narralio, pro- 
batio, refutatio, peroratio. His adiecerunt quidam 
partitionem, propositionem, exccssum ; quarum pri- 

2 ores duae probation! succedunt. Nam proponere 
quidem, quae sis probaturus, necesse est, sed et 
concludere ; cur igitur si ilia pars causae est, non et 
liaec sit? Partitio vero dispositionis est species, 
ipsa dispositio pars rhetorices et per oinnes materias 
tottnnque earum corpus aequaliter fusa, sicut in- 

3 ventio, elocutio. Ideoque earn non orationis totius 
partem unam esse credendum est sed quaestionum 
etiam singularum. Quae est eniin (|uaestio,, in qua 
non promittere possit orator, quid primo, quid 
secundo, quid tertio sit loco dicturus? quod est 
proprium partitionis. Quam ergo ridiculum est, 
quaestionem quidem speciem esse probationis, par- 
titionem autem, quae sit species quaestionis, partem 

4 totius orationis vocari ? Egressio vero vel, quod usi- 
tatius esse coepit, excessus, sive est extra causam, 
non potest esse pars causae, sive est in causa, adiu- 
torium vel ornamentum partium est earum, ex quibus 
egreditur. Nam si, quidquid in causa est, pars 
causae vocabitur, cur non argumentum, similitudo, 

BOOK III. vni. yo-ix. 4 

may consult them, they will learn from practice 
what they cannot perhaps put to the credit of the 

IX. I now come to the forensic kind of oratory, 
which presents the utmost variety, but whose duties 
are no more than two, the bringing and rebutting 
of charges. Most authorities divide the forensic 
speech into five parts : the exordium, the statement of 
facts, the proof, the refutation, and the peroration. 
To these some have added the partition into heads, 
proposition and digression, the two first of which 
form part of the proof. For it is obviouslv '2 
necessary to propound what you are going to prove 
as well as to conclude. Why then, if proposition is a 
part of a speech, should not conclusion be also ? Par- 
tition on the other hand is merely one aspect of 
arrangement, and arrangement is a part of rhetoric 
itself, and is equally distributed through every theme 
of oratory and their whole body, just as are invention 
and style. Consequently we must regard partition 3 
not as one part of a whole speech, but as a part of 
each individual question that may be involved. For 
what question is there in which an orator cannot 
set forth the order in which he is going to make 
his points ? And this of course is the function of par- 
tition. Bat how ridiculous it is to make each ques- 
tion an aspect of proof, but partition which is an 
aspect of a question a part of the whole speech. As 4 
for digression (egressio, now more usually styled 
excessus], if it lie outside the case, it cannot be part 
of it, while, if it lie within it. it is merely an acces- 
sory or ornament of that portion of the case from 
which digression is made. For if anything that lies 


within the case is to be called part of it, why not 


locus communis, adfectus, exempla partes vocentur ? 

5 Tamen nee iis adsentior, qui detraliunt refutationem 
tanquam probation! subiectam, ut Aristoteles ; haec 
enim est, quae constituat, ilia, quae destruat. Hoc 
quoque idem aliquatenus novat, quod prooemio non 
narrationem subiungit sed propositionem. Verum 
id facit, quia propositio ei genus, narratio species 
videtur, et hac non semper, ilia semper et ubique 
credit opus esse. 

6 Verum ex his quas constitui partibus non, ut 
quidque primum dicendum, ita primum cogitandum 
est ; sed ante omnia intueri oportet, quod sit genus 
causae, quid in ea quaeratur, quae prosint, quae 
noceant, deinde quid confirmandum sit ac refellen- 

7 dum, turn quo modo narrandum. Expositio enim 
probationum est praeparatio, nee esse utilis potest, 
nisi priiis constiterit, quid debeat de probatione 
promittere. Postremo intuendum, quemadmodum 
index sit conciliandus. Neque enim nisi totius causae 
partibus diligenter inspectis scire possumus, qualem 
nobis facere animum cognoscentis expediat, severum 
an mitem. concitatum an remissum, adversum ffratiae 

' O 

an obnoxium. 

8 Neque ideo tamen eos probaverim, qui scribendum 

1 Ithet. ii. 26. 8 Rhet. iii. 13. 


BOOK III. ix. 4-8 

call argument, comparison, commonplace, pathos, illus- 
tration parts of the case? On the other hand I 5 
disagree with those who, like Aristotle/ would re- 
move refutation from the list on the ground that it 
forms part of the proof : for the proof is construc- 
tive, and the refutation destructive. Aristotle 2 also 
introduces another slight novelty in making proposi- 
tion, not statement of facts, follow the exordium. This 
however he does because lie regards proposition as 
the genus and statement of j acts as the species, with 
the result that he holds that, whereas the former is 
always and everywhere necessary, the latter may 
sometimes be dispensed with. 

It is however necessary to point out as regards 6 
these five parts which I have established,, that that 
which has to be spoken first is not necessarily that 
which requires our first consideration. But above 
all we must consider the nature of the case, 
the question at issue and the arguments for and 
against. Next we must consider what points are 
to be made, and what refuted, and then how the 
facts are to be stated. For the statement of facts is 7 
designed to prepare the way for the proof's and must 
needs be unprofitable, unless we have first deter- 
mined what proofs are to be promised in the state- 
ment. Finally we must consider how best to win the 
judge to take our view. For we cannot be sure until 
we have subjected all the parts of the case to careful 
scrutiny, what sort of impression we wish to make 
upon the judge : are we to mollify him or increase 
his severity, to excite or relax his interest in the 
case, to render him susceptible to influence or the 
reverse ? 

I cannot however approve the view of those who 8 


quoque prooeniium novisMine putant. Nam ut con 
ferri materiam omnem et, quid quoque loco l sit opus, 
constare decet, antequam dicere aut scribere ordi- 

'. amur, ita incipiendum ab iis, quae prima sunt. Nam 
nee pingere quisquam aut fingere coepit a pedibus, 
nee denique ars ulla consummatur ibi, unde ordien- 
dum est. Quid fiet alioqui. si spatium componendi 
orationem stilo non fuerit ? nonne nos liaee inversa 
consuetude deceperit? Inspicienda igitur materia 
est, quo praeeepimus ordine, scribenda, quo dieemus. 
X. C'eterinn causa omnis, in qua pars altera agentis 
est, altera recusantis, aut unius rei controversia con- 
stat aut plurium. Haec simplex dicitur, ilia con- 
iuneta. Una controversia est per se furti, per se 
adulterii. Plures aut eiusdern generis, ut in pecuniis 
repetundis,, aut diversi, ut si quis sacrilegii et homi- 
cidii simul accusetur. Quod mine in publicis iudiciis 
non accidit, quoniam praetor certa lege sortitur, 
prineipum autem et seiiatus cognitionibus freqtiens 
est et populi f'uit ; privata quoque indicia saepe unum 
iudieem habere multis et diversis formulis solent. 

2 Nee aliae species erunt, etiamsi unus a duobus dum- 
taxat e.-uidem rem atque ex eadem causa }>etet aut 

1 quoque loco, Rcyius : (JIKMJUC, MSS. 

1 In the permanent courts (r/uaesliones perpetuae). There 
\vci-c separate courts for diffyrent offences. In cases brought 
before the Senate or the Emperor a number of different 
charges might be dealt with at once. 


BOOK III. ix. 8-x. 2 

think that the exordium should actually be written last. 
For though we must collect all our material and deter- 
mine the proper place for each portion of it, before 
we begin to speak or write, we must commence with 
what naturally comes first. No one begins a portrait 9 
by painting or modelling the feet., and no art finds its 
completion at the point where it should begin. 
Otherwise what will happen if we have not time to 
write our speecli ? Will not the result of such a 
reversal of tiie proper order of things be that we 
shall be caught napping ? We must therefore re- 
view the subject-matter in the order laid down, but 
write our speech in the order in which we shall 
deliver it. 

X. Every cause in which one side attacks and the 


other defends consists either of one or more contro- 
versial questions. In the first case it is called simple, 
in the second complex. An example of the first is 
when the subject of enquiry is a theft or an adultery 
taken by itself. In complex cases the several ques- 
tions may all be of the same kind, as in cases of 
extortion, or of different kinds, as when a man is 
accused at one and the same time of homicide and 
sacrilege. Such cases no longer arise in the public 
courts, since the praetor allots the different charges 
to different courts in accordance with a definite rule ; 
but they still are of freqaent occurrence in the 
Imperial or Senatorial courts, and were frequent in 
the flays when they came up for trial before the 
people. 1 Private suits again are often tried by one 
judge, who may have to determine many different 
points of law. There are no other species of forensic 2 
causes, not even when one person brings the same 
suit on the same grounds against two different 

5 J 9 


duo ab uno aut plures a pluribus, quod accidere in 
hereditariis litibus interim scimus, quia quamvis in 
mtiltis personis causa tamen una est, nisi si condicio 
personarum quaestiones variaverit. 

Diversum his tertium genus, quod dicitur com- 
parativum ; cuius rei tractatus in parte causae 
frequens est, ut cum apud centumviros post alia 
quaeritur et hoc, uter dignior hereditate sit. llarum 
est autem, ut in foro iudicia propter id soluin con- 
stituantur, sicut divinationes, quae fiunt de aceusa- 
tore constituendo, et nonnunquam inter delatorcs, 
uter praemium meruerit. Adiecerunt quidam 
numero mutuam accusationem, quae avrtKarv/yopia 
vocatur, aliis videlicet succedere lianc quoque com- 
parative generi existimantibus, cui similis erit 
petitionum invicem diversarum, quod accidit vel 
frequentissime. Id si et ipsum vocari debet UI-TIKUL- 
rij-yopLa (nam proprio caret nomine) duo genera erunt 
eius, alterum quo litigatores idem criinen invicem 
intentant, alterum quo aliud atque aliud. Cui et 
petitionum condicio par est. 

Cum apparuerit genus causae, turn intuebimtir. 
negeturne factum, quod intenditur, an defendutur. 
an alio nomine appelletur, an a genere actionis 
repellatur ; unde sunt status. 

1 A civil court specially concerned with questions of 

2 Divinatio is a trial to decide between the claims of two 
persons to appear as accuser, there being no public prosecutor 
at Rome. cp. Cicero's Divinatio in Caccilium. 


BOOK III. x. 2-5 

persons, or two persons bring the same suit against 
one, or several against several, as occasionally occurs 
in lawsuits about inheritances. Because although a 
number of parties may be involved, there is still only 
one suit, unless indeed the different circumstances 
of the various parties alter the questions at issue. 

There is however said to be a third and different 3 
class, the comparative. Questions of comparison fre- 
quently require to be handled in portions of a cause, 
as for instance in the centumviral court, 1 when after 
other questions have been raised the question is dis- 
cussed as to which of two claimants is the more de- 
serving of an inheritance. It is rare however for a 
case to be brought into court on such grounds alone, 
as in divinations 2 which take place to determine who 
the accuser shall be, and occasionally when two in- 
formers dispute as to which has earned the reward. 
Some again have added a fourth class, namely 4 
mutual accusation, which they call avTiKar^yopm. 
Others, however, regard it as belonging to the com- 
parative group, to which indeed the common case of 
reciprocal suits on different grounds bears a strong 
resemblance. If this latter case should also be called 
avTLKaTrjyopia. (for it has no special name of its own), we 
must divide mutual accusation into two classes, in one 
of which the parties bring the same charge against 
each other, while in the other they bring different 
charges. The same division will also apply to claims. 

As soon as we are clear as to the kind of cause on 6 
which we are engaged, we must then consider 
whether the act that forms the basis of the charge 
is denied or defended, or given another name or 
excepted from that class of action. Thus we deter- 
mine the basis of each case. 



XI. His inventis, intuendirm deinceps Herma- 
gorae videtur, quid sit quaestio, ratio, iudicatio, 
continens, vel, ut alii vocant, firmamentum. Quae- 
stio latius intelligitur omnis, de qua in utramque 
partem vel in plures partes dici credibiliter potest. 

2 In iudiciali autem materia dupliciter accipienda est : 
altero modo, quo dicimus multas quaestiones habere 
controversial!!, quo etiam minores omnes complecti- 
mur, altero, quo significamus summam illam, in qua 
causa vertitur ; de hac mine loquor, ex qua nascitur 

3 status, an factum sit, quid factum sit, an recte 
fact urn sit. Has Hermagoras et Apollodorus et 
alii plurimi scriptores proprie quaestiones vooant, 
Theodorus, ut dixi, capita generalia, sicut illas 
minores aut ex illis pendentes specialia. Nam et 
quaestionem ex quaesiione nasci et speeiem in 

4 species dividi convenit, Hanc igitur quaestionem 
veluti principalem vocant ^r?;^ta. Ratio autem est, 
qua id, quod factum esse constat, defenditur. Et 
cur non utamur eodem, quo sunt usi omnes fere, 
exemplo ? Orestes matrem occidit, hoc constat ; 
die-it se iuste fecisse : status erit qualitatis ; quaestio, 
an iuste fecerit, ratio, quod Clytaemnestra maritum 
suum, patrem Orestis, occidit; hoc atrtov dicitur. 

1 This highly technical chapter will be largely unintelligible 
to those who have not read chapter vi. Those who have no 
stomach for such points would do well to skip 1-20 ; they 
will however find consolation in 21 s<7g. , where Quintilian 
says what he really thinks of such technicalities. 


BOOK III. xi. 1-4 

XI. As soon as these points are ascertained, the 
next step, according to Hermagoras, should be to 
consider what is the question at issue, the line of defence, 
the point for the judges decision and the central point, 
or, as others call it, the foundation of the case. 1 The 
question in its more general sense is taken to mean 
everything on which two or more plausible opinions 
may be advanced. In forensic subjects however it 2 
must be taken in two senses : first in the sense in 
which we say that a controversial matter involves 
many questions, thereby including all minor ques- 
tions; secondly in the sense of the main question on 
which the case turns. It is of this, with which the 
basis originates, that I am now speaking. \Ve ask 
whether a thing has been done, what it is that hai 
been done, and whether it was rightly done. To 3 
these Hermagoras arid Apoliodorus and many other 
writers have given the special name of questions ; 
Theodorus on the other hand, as I have already said, 
calls them general heads, while he designates minor 
questions or questions dependent on these general 
heads as special heads. For it is agreed that question 
may spring from question, and species be subdivided 
into other species. This main question, then, they 4 
call the 'Crj-rqiJia.. The line of defence is the method by 
which an admitted act is defended. I see no reason 
why 1 should not use the same example to illustrate 
this point that has been used by practically all my 
predecessors. Orestes has killed his mother : the 
fact is admitted. He pleads that he was justified in 
so doing: the basis will be one of qualitv, the 
question, whether he was justified in his action, the 
line of defence that Clytemnestra killed her husband, 
Orestes' father. This is called the cunoy or motive. 

5 2 3 


v autem iudicatio, an oportuerit vel nocen- 

5 tern matrem a filio occidi. Quidam diviserunt alriov 
et aiTiav, ut esset altera, propter quam iudicium 
constitutum est, ut occisa Clytaemnestra, altera, qua 
factum defenditur, ut occisus Agamemnon. Sed 
tanta est circa verba dissensio, ut alii am'av causam 
iudicii, olnor autem facti vocent, alii eadem in con- 
trarium vertant. Latinorum quidam haec initium 
et rationem vocaverunt, quidam utrumque eodem 

6 nomine appellant. Causa quoque ex causa, id est 
alnov ( aiTiov, nasci videtur, quale est : Occidit 
Agamemnonem Clytaemnestra, quia ille filiam com- 
munem immolaverat et captivam pellicem adduce 
bat. lidem putant et sub una quaestione plures esse 
rationes, ut si Orestes et alteram adferat causam 
matris necatae, quod responsis sit impulsus ; quot 
autem causas faciendi, totidem iudicationes ; nam et 
haec erit iudicatio, an responsis parere debuerit. 

7 Sed et una causa plures habere quaestiones et iudi- 
cationes (ut ego arbitror) potest, ut in eo, qui, cum 
adulteram deprehensam occidisset, adulterum, qui 
turn effugerat, postea in foro occidit. Causa enim 
est una, adulter fuit ; quaestiones et iudicationes, an 


BOOK III. xi. 4-7 

The point for the decision of the judge is known as 
the Kpivofjitvov, and in this case is whether it was 
right that even a guilty mother should be killed by 
her son. Some have drawn a distinction between 5 
aiTiov and CUTUX, making amov mean the cause of the 
trial, namely the murder of Clytemnestra, atrt'a the 
motive urged in defence, namely the murder of 
Agamemnon. But there is such lack of agreement 
over these two words, that some make ama the cause 
of the trial and amor the motive of the deed, while 
others reverse the meanings. If we turn to Latin 
writers we find that some have given these causes the 
names of initium, the beginning, and ratio, the reason, 
while others give the same name to both. Moreover 6 
cause seems to spring from cause, or as the Greeks say 
alnov e alriov, as will be seen from the following: 
Clytemnestra killed Agamemnon, because he had 
sacrificed their daughter and brought home a captive 
woman as his paramour. The same authors think 
that there may be several lines of defence to one 
question : for instance Orestes may urge that he 
killed his mother because driven to do so by oracles. 
But the number of points for the decision of the judge 
will be the same as the number of alleged motives for 
the deed : in this case it will be whether he ought to 
have obeyed the oracles. But one alleged motive may 7 
also in my opinion involve several questions and several 
points for the decision of the judge, as for instance 
in the case when the husband caught his wife in 
adultery and slew her and later slew the adulterer, 
who had escaped, in the market place. The motice is 
but one: "he was an adulterer." But there arise 
as questions and points for decision by the judge, whether 



8 illo tempore, an illo loco licuerit occidere. Sed 
sicut, cum sint plures quaestiones omnesque suos 
status habeant, causae tamen status unus sit, ad 
quern ivferuntur omnia, ita iudicatio maxime propria, 

9 de qua pronuntiatur. ^vve^ov autem (quod, ut dixi. 
continens alii, firmamentum alii putant, Cicero Jir- 
misiimam argumentationem defensoris et adposilissimam 
ad iudicationem^ quibusdam id videtur esse, post quod 
nihil quaeritur, quibusdam id quod ad iudicationem 

10 firmissimum adfertur. Causa facti noil in omnes 
controversias cadit. N'am quae fuerit causa faciendi, 
ubi factum negatur? At ubi causa tractetur, negant 
eodem loco esse iudicationem quo quaestionem, 
idque et in Rhetoric-is Cicero et in Partitionibus 

11 dicit. Nam in coniectura est quaestio ex illo 
Factum, non faction an factum sit. Ibi ergo iudi- 
catio, ubi quaestio, quia in eadem re prima quaestio 
et extrema disceptatio. At in qualitate, Matrem 
Orestes occidit : rede, non recfe, an recte occi- 
derit, quaestio nee statim iudicatio. Quando ergo? 
Ilia patrcm me um occiderat ; sed non ideo tu matrem 

12 debuisti occidere ; an debuerit, hie iudicatio. Firma- 

1 De Inv. i. xiv. 19. 
De Inv. I.e.: Part. Or. xxx. 104. 

BOOK JII. xi. 7-12 

it was lawful to kill him at that time and at that 
place. But just as, although there be several questions, 8 
each with its special basis, the basis of the case is but 
one, namely that to which all else is referred, even so 
the real point for the decision of the judge is, strictly 
speaking, that on which judgment is given. As for 9 
the <TVI')(OV, the central argument, as I have mentioned 
it is called by some, or the \ foundation as it is called by 
others, or as Cicero l styles it the strongest argument of 
the defender and the most relevant to the decision of the 
judge, some regard it as being the point after which 
all enquiry ceases, others as the main point for 
adjudication. The motive of the deed does not arise 10 
in all controversial cases. For how can there be a 
motive for the deed, when the deed is denied? But 
when the motive for the deed does come up for 
discussion, they deny that the point for the decision of 
the judge rests on the same ground as the main question 
at issue, and this view is maintained by Cicero 2 in his 
Rhetorica and Partitiones. For when it has been 11 
asserted and denied that a deed was done, the ques- 
tion whether it was done is resolved by conjecture, and 
the decision of the judge and the main question rest on 
the same ground, since the first question and the 
final decision are concerned with the same point. 
But when it is stated and denied that Orestes was 
justified in killing his mother, considerations of quality 
are introduced : the question is whether he was justi- 
fied in killing her, but this is not yet the point for the 
decision of the judge. When, then, does it become so ? 
"She killed my father." " Yes, but that did not 
make it your duty to murder your mother." The 
point for the decision of the judge is whether it was his 
duty to kill her. As regards the foundation, I will put 12 



mentum autem verbis ipsius ponam : si relit Orestes 
dicere ciusmodi ammum mains suae Juisse in patron 
suum, in se ipsum ac sorores, in regnum, in famavi 
generis et familiae, id ab ea poenas liberi poiissittnnn xui 

13 petere debuerint. Utuntur alii et talibus exemplis : 
Qui bona paterna consumpserit, ne contionetur ; in opera 
publica consumpsit ; quaestio, an, quisquis consump- 

14 serit, prohibendus sit : iudicatio, an, qui sic. Vel, 
ut in causa militis Arrunti, qui Lusium tribunum 
vim sibi inferentem interfecit, quaestio, an iure 
fecerit, ratio, quod is vim afferebat ; iudicatio, an 
indemnatum, an tribunum a milite occidi opor- 

15 tuerit. Alterius etiam status quaestionem, alterius 
iudicationem putant. Quaestio qualitatis, an recte 
Clodium Milo occiderit. Iudicatio coniecturalis, an 

16 Clodius insidias feccrit. Ponunt et illud, saepe 
causam in aliquam rem dimitti, quae non sit propria 
quaestionis, et de ea iudicari. A quibus multum 
dissentio. Nam et ilia quaestio, an omnes, qui 
paterna bona consumpserint, contione sint prohi- 
bendi, habeat oportet suam iudicationem. Ergo non 
alia quaestio alia iudicatio erit, sed plures quaesti- 

1 de Inv. I.e. 

BOOK III. xi. 12-16 

it in the words of Cicero l himself : " The foundation 
is the strongest argument for the defence, as for 
instance, if Orestes were ready to say that the dispo- 
sition of his mother towards his father, himself and 
his sisters, the kingdom, the reputation of the race 
and the family were such that it was the peculiar duty 
of her children to punish her." Others again use 13 
illustrations such as the following : " He who has 
spent his patrimony, is not allowed to address the 
people." "But he spent it on public works." The 
question is whether everyone that spends his patrimony 
is to be prohibited, while the point for decision is 
whether he who spent it in such a way is to be 
prohibited. Or again take the case of the soldier 14 
Arruntius, who killed the tribune Lusius for assaulting 
his honour. The question is whether he was justified 
in so doing, the line of defence, that the murdered man 
made an assault upon his honour, the point for the 
decision of the judge, whether it was right that a man 
should be killed uncondemned or a tribune by a 
soldier. Some even regard the basis of the question 15 
as being different from the basis of the decision. 
The question as to whether Milo was justified in 
killing Clodius, is one of quality. The point for the 
decision of the judge, namely whether Clodius lay in 
wait for Milo, is a matter for conjecture. They also 16 
urge that a case is often diverted to the consideration 
of some matter irrelevant to the question, and that it is 
on this matter that judgment is given. I strongly 
disagree. Take the question whether all who have 
spent their patrimony are to be prohibited from 
addressing the people. This question must have its 
point for decision, and therefore the question and the 
point for decision are not different, but there are more 

5 2 9 


17 ones et plures iudicationes. Quid? non in causa 
Milonis ipsa coniectura refertur ad qualitatem ? nam 
si est insidiatus Clodius, sequitur, ut recte sit occisus. 

Cum vero in aliquam rem missa causa recessum est 
a quaestione, quae erat, et hie constituta quaestio, 
ubi iudicatio est, 1 

18 Paulum in his secum etiam Cicero dissentit. Nam 
in Rhetoricis (quemadmodum supra dixi) Hermago- 
ran est secutus ; in Topicis ex statu effectam con- 
tentionem Kptvo^vov existimat, idque Trebatio, qui 
iuris erat consultus, adludens qua de re agilur appel- 
lat ; quibus id contineatur, continentia, quasi finna- 
menta dejensionis, quibus sublatis defensio nulla sit ; 

19 at in Partitionibus oratoriis firmamentum, quod 
opponitur defensioni, quia continens, quod primum 
sit, ab accusatore dicatur, ratio a reo, ex rationis et 
firmament! quaestione disceptatio sit iudicationum. 

Yerius igitur et brevius ii, qui statum et continens 
et iudicationem idem 2 esse voluerunt; continens 

20 autem id esse, quo sublato lis esse non possit. Hoc 
mihi videntur utramque causam complexi, et quod 

1 causa est recessum est a quaestione quae erat et hie con- 
stituta quaestio iudicatio est, A : causa est recessum et a 
quaestione quae erat hie constituta quaestio ubi iudicatio 
est, B. The reading and meaning are very uncertain. 

2 idem, added by Regius. 


BOOK III. xi 16-20 

than one question and more than one point for decision 
in the case. Again, in the case of Milo, is not the 17 
question of fact ultimately referred to the question of 
quality ? For if Clodius lay in wait for Milo, it follows 
that he was justifiably killed. But when the case is 
shifted to some other point far removed from the 
original question, even in this case the question will 
be found to reside in the point for decision. 

As regards these questions Cicero is slightly in- 18 
consistent with himself. For in the Rhetorica, as I 
have already mentioned, he followed Hermagoras, 
while in the Topica l he holds that the /cpivo/xevov or 
disputed point is originated by the basis, and in 
addressing the lawyer Trebatius on this subject he 
calls it the point at issue, and describes the elements 
in which it resides as central arguments or foundations 
of the defence which hold it together and the removal of 
which causes the whole defence to fall to the ground. But 19 
in the Partitiones Oratoriae 2 he gives the name of 
foundation to that which is advanced against the de- 
fence, on the ground that the central argument, as it 
logically comes first, is put forward by the accuser, 
while the line of defence is put forward by the accused, 
and the point for the decision of the judge arises from 
the question jointly raised by the central argument 
and the line of defence. 

The view therefore of those who make the basis, 
the central argument, and the point for the decision of 
the judge identical, is at once more concise and nearer 
to the truth. The central argument, they point out, 
is that the removal of which makes the whole case fall 
to the ground. In this central argument they seem to 20 
me to have included both the alleged causes, that 

1 Top. xxv. 95. 2 xxix. 103. 

S3 1 


Orestes matrem et quod Clytaemnestra Agamem- 
nonem Occident. lidem iudicationem et statum 
consentire semper existimarunt, neque enim aliud 
eorum ration! conveniens fuisset. 

21 Verum haec adfectata subtilitas circa nomina 
rerum ambitiose laborat, a nobis in hoc assumpta 
solum, ne parum diligenter inquisisse de opere, quod 
aggressi sumus, videremur ; simplicius autem insti- 
tuenti non est necesse per tarn minutas rerum par- 

22 ticulas rationem docendi concidere. Quo vitio multi 
quidem laborarunt, praecipue tamen Hermagoras, 
vir alioqui subtilis et in plurimis admirandus, tan turn 
diligentiae nimium sollicitae, ut ipsa eius reprehensio 

23 laude aliqua non indigna sit. Haec autem brevior 
et vel ideo lucidior multo via neque discentem per 
ambages fatigabit nee corpus orationis in parva 
momenta diducendo consumet. Nam qui viderit, 
quid sit, quod in controversiam veniat, quid in eo 
et per quae velit efficere pars diversa, quid nostra, 
quod in primis est intuendum, nihil eorum ignorare, 

24 de quibus supn* diximus, poterit. Neque est fere 
quisquam modo non stultus atque ab omni prorsus 


BOOK III. xi. 20-24 

Orestes killed his mother and that Clytemnestra 
killed Agamemnon. The same authorities have like- 


wise always held that the basis and the point for the 
decision of the judge are in agreement; any other 
opinion would have been inconsistent with their 
general views. 

But this affectation of subtlety in the invention of 21 
technical terms is mere laborious ostentation : I have 
undertaken the task of discussing them solely that I 
might not be regarded as having failed to make suffi- 
cient inquiry into the subject which I have chosen as 
my theme. But it is quite unnecessary for an in- 
structor proceeding on less technical lines to destroy 
the coherence of his teaching by attention to such 
minute detail. Many however suffer from this draw- 22 
back, more especially Hermagoras who, although he 
labours these points with such anxious diligence, was 
a man of penetrating intellect and in most respects 
deserves our admiration, so that even where we must 
needs blame him, we cannot withhold a certain meed 
of praise. But the shorter method, which for that 23 
very reason is also by far the most lucid, will not 
fatigue the learner by leading him through a maze of 
detail, nor destroy the coherence of his eloquence by 
breaking it up into a number of minute departments. 
For he who has a clear view of the main issue of a dis- 
pute, and divines the aims which his own side and his 
opponents intend to follow and the means they intend 
to employ (and it is to the intentions of his own side 
that he must pay special attention), will without a 
doubt be in possession of a knowledge of all the points 
which 1 have discussed above. And there is hardly 24 
anyone, unless he be a born fool without the least 
acquaintance with the practice of speaking, who does 



usu dicendi remotus, quin sciat, et quid litem faciat, 
(quod ab illis causa vel continens dicitur) et quae sit 
inter litigantes quaestio, et de quo iudicari oporteat ; 
quae ornnia idem sunt. Nam et de eo quaestio est, 
quod in controversial!! venit, et de eo iudicatur, de 

25 quo quaestio est. Sed non perpetuo intendimus in 
haec animuin et cupiditate laudis utcunque acqui- 
rendae vel dicendi voluptate evagamur, quando 
uberior semper extra causam materia est, quia in 
controversia pauca sunt, extra omnia, et hie dicitur 
de his, quae accepimus, illic, de quibus volumus. 

26 Nee tarn hoc praecipiendum est, ut quaestionem, 
continens, iudicationem inveniamus (nam id quidem 
facile est), quam ut intueamur semper, aut certe si 
digressi fuerimus saltern respiciamus, ne plausuin 
adfectantibus arma excidant. Theodori schola, ut 

27 dixi, omnia refert ad capita. His plura intelligiin- 
tur : uno modo summa quaestio item ut status, altero 
ceterae quae ad summam referuntur, tertio propositio 
cum adfirmatione ; ut dicimus, Caput rci est, apud 
Menandrum /cecuA.cu6V *.<JTIV. In universum autem, 
quidquid probandum est, erit caput; sed id mains 
aut minus. 

1 Perhaps a gloss referring to the late rhetorician Me- 
nander. If genuine, the words must refer to the comic poet. 


BOOK III. xi. 24-27 

not know what is the main issue of a dispute (or as 
they call it the cause or central argument) and what is 
the question between the parties and the point on which 
the judge has to decide, these three being identical. 
For the question is concerned with the matter in dis- 
pute and the decision of the judge is given on the 
point involved in the question. Still we do not keep 25 
our attention rigidly fixed on such details, but the 
desire to win praise by any available means and the 
sheer delight in speaking make us wander away from 
the subject, since there is always richer material for 
eloquence outside the strict theme of the case, inas- 
much as the points of any given dispute are always 
few, and there is all the world outside, and in the one 
case we speak according to our instructions, in the 
other on the subjects of our own choice. We should 26 
teach not so much that it is our duty to discover the 
question, the central argument., and the point for the de- 
cision of the judge (an easy task), as that we should 
continually keep our attention on our subject, or if 
we digress, at least keep looking back to it, lest in 
our desire to win applause we should let our weapons 
drop from our grasp. The school of Theodorus, as I 27 
have said, groups everything under heads, by which 
they mean several things. First they mean the main 
question, which is to be identified with the basis ; 
secondly they mean the other questions dependent 
on the main question, thirdly the proposition and the 
statement of the proofs. The word is used as we use it 
when we say " It is the head of the whole business," 
or, as Menander says, K<r<uA.atuv etrrii/ J But generally 
speaking, anything which has to be proved will be a 
head of varying degrees of importance. 



28 Et quoniam, quac de his erant a scriptoribus 
artium tradita, verbosius etiam quam necesse erat 
exposuimus, praeterea, quae partes essent iudicialium 
causarum, supra dictum est, proximus liber a prima, 
id est exordio incipiet. 


BOOK III. xi. 28 

I have now set forth the principles laid down by 28 
the writers of text-books, though I have done so 
at a greater length than was necessary. I have 
also explained what are the various parts of forensic 
causes. My next book therefore shall deal with 
the exordium. 



(Only those names are included which seem to require some explanation; a 
complete index will, be contained in Vol. IP.) 

Acoius, I. vii. 14; I. viii. 11. 
Famous tragic poet, fl. 140 B.C. 

Aelius Stilo, I. vi. 37. Famous as 
a philologist, circa 100 B.C. 

Aeschines, II. xvii. 12 ; ill. vi. 3. 
Attic orator, contemporary and 
opponent of Demosthenes. 

Agnon, II. xvii. 15. Academic 
philosopher and rhetorician, 
teacher of Carneades, second 

Albutius Silus, C., n. xv. 36 ; in. 
iii. 4 ; in. vi. 62. Rhetorician 
of the Augustan period. 

Alcidamas, ill. i. 10. Rhetorician 
from Elaea, pupil of Gorgias, 
fl. 425 B.C. 

Ampins, T., in. viii. 50. T. Ampins 
Balbus, trib. pleb. 68 B.C., 
praetor 59. Friend and corres- 
pondent of Cicero. 

Anaximenes of Lampsacus, ill. 
iv. 9. A rhetorician, who ac- 
companied Alexander on his 

Antigonus, II. xiii. 12. King of 
Asia, after Alexander's death. 

Antipho, in. i. 11. Orator and 
instructor of Thucydides. 

Antonius, M., II. xv. 7 ; II. xvii. 
5 sq. ; III. i. 19 ; III. vi. 45. 
With L. Crassus, the most 
famous Roman orator prior to 
Cicero, of whom he was an elder 

Antonius Gnipho, I. vi. 23. A 
famous grammarian and rhe- 
torician, contemporary with 

Antonius Rufus I. v. 43. An early 
grammaria,n of uncertain date. 
Possibly also a dramatic poet. 

Apelles, II. xiii. 12. A famous 
Greek painter, fl. 330 B.C. 

Apollodorus of Pergamus, II. xv. 
12 ; m. i. 1, 17 ; in. v. 17 ; 
III. vi. 35 stj. ; III. xi. 3. Cp. n. 
xi. 2 ; n. xv. 12 ; Hi. I. 18. A 
distinguished rhetorician of the 
Augustan ago. 

Apolloniua Molon of Rhodes, in. 
i. 16. A famous rhetorician. 
Cicero was among his pupils. 

Appius Caecus, II. xvi. 7 ; ill. 
viii. 54. Consul 307 B.C. ; speci- 
ally famous for the speech by 
which he persuaded the senate 
to reject Pyrrhus' terms of 
peace. The earliest great orator 
of Rome. 

Aquilius Manius, II. xv. 8. Accused 
of maladministration in Sicily, 
98 B.C. 

Archedemus, III. vi. 31, 33. A 
rhetorician of the generation 
following Aristotle. 

Archimedes, I. x. 48. The famous 
mathematician of Syracuse, who 
perished in the sack of that city 
by the Romans, 21 2 B.C., after 
prolonging the siege by his skill 
in the construction of siege 

Archytas, r. x. 17. Pythagorean 
philosopher, mathematician and 
statesman of Tarentum, fl. 
400 B.C. 

Areus, II. xv. 36 ; m. i. 16. Stoic 



philosopher of Alexandria, first 
century B.C. 

Argiletum, I. vi. 31. District near 
the Aventirie, popularly derived 
from argilla (clay) or Anji letnm 
(the death of a mythical Argus). 

Aristarchus, I. iv. 20. A famous 
Alexandrian critic and gram- 
marian, pupil of Aristophanes of 

Ariston, II. xv. 19. Peripatetic 
philosopher, disciple of Critolau.s. 

Aristophanes of Byzantium, I. i. 
15. A famous Alexandrian critic 
and grammarian, fl. 260 B.C. 

Aristoxenus, I. x. 22. Peripatetic 
philosopher and musician, con- 
temporary with Aristotle. 

Athenaeus, n. xv. 23; ill. i. 16; 
in. iii. 13 ; III. v. 5 ; in. vi. 47. 
Rhetorician and opponent of 
Hermagoras (i). 

Athenodorus of Rhodes, II. xvii. 
15. Otherwise unknown. 

Atticus, in. i. 18. Dionysiua 
surnamed Atticus, rhetorician, 
pupil of Apollodorus. 

Beneventum, I. vi. 31. Town In 
S. Italy, originally Maleventura, 
but changed for luck to Beue- 

Brutus (i), I. vi. 31. The expeller 
of the kings, so called from 
feigning to be half-witted 

Brutus (ii), III. vi. 93. The 
murderer of Caesar, famous as 
an orator of the Attic school. 

Busiris, II. xvii. 4. Legendary 
king of Egypt, who sacriliced to 
the gods all foreigners who 
entered Egypt. 

Caecilius (i), I. viii. 11. Famous 
comic poet, d. 168 B.C. 

Caecilius (ii), in. i. 16 ; in. vi. 48. 
Sicilian rhetorician, who taught 
at Rome in the reign of Augustus. 

Caelius Rufus, M., I. v. 61 ; I. vi. 
29, 42 ; in. viii. 54. Younger 
contemporary of Cicero, dis- 
tinguished as an orator. 


Calvus, C., I. vi. 42. Younger 
contemporary of Cicero, poet 
and orator, with Brutus chief 
representative of the Attic school. 

Capitolium, I. vi. 31. The Capitol 
at Rome, fancifully derived from 
capul Oil, the head of Olus 
alleged to have been dug up 

Cato, M., the Censor, I. vl. 42 ; I. 
vii. 23 ; n. v. 21 ; n. xv. 8 ; 
III. i. 19 ; ill. vi. 97. The 
famous opponent of Carthage, 
one of the most distinguished 
writers and orators of his day. 
234-149 B.C. 

Cato Uticensis, ill. v. 8 ; in. viii. 
49. Contemporary of Cicero 
and among the most ardent 
opponents of Caesar. 

Celsus, Cornelius, II. xv. 22, 32 ; 
III. i. 21 ; HI. v. 3 ; III. vi. 3, 
38 ; ill. vii. 25. Writer on 
medicine rhetoric and many 
other subjects ; nourished under 
Augustus and Tiberius. 

Cethegus, M., II. xv. 4. Consul 
204. Famous as an orator. 

Chrysippus, I. i. 4, 16 ; I. iii. 14 ; 
I. x. 32 ; I. xi. 17 ; n. xv. 
34. The most famous of Stoic 
philosophers, fl- 250 P.O. 

Claudius, I. vii. 26. The emperor. 

Cleanthes, n. xv. 31; n. xvii. 41. 
One of the earliest Stoic philoso- 
phers ; successor of Zeno ; 
slightly earlier than Chrysippus. 

Clodius, II. iv. 35 ; in. v. 10 ; 
in. vii. 2 ; in. viii. 54 ; in. 
xi. 15, 17. Demagogue and 
inveterate enemy of C'icero. 

Colotes, H. xiii. 13. A famous 
painter, circa 276 B.C. 

Corax, n. xvii. 7 ; ill. i. 8. One 
of the earliest writers on rhetoric. 
A Sicilian, fl. circa 470 B.C. 

Cornelius Callus, I. v. 8. Friend of 
Virgil and Augustus, first of the 
elegiac poets of Rome and 
governor of Egypt, d. 25 B.C. 

Corniiichis, in. i. 2i. Rhetorician, 
contemporary with Cicero. 
Probably author of the rhetorical 
treatise ad Hercnnium. 

Crassus, L., I. xi. 8 ; n. iv. 42 . 


II. xx. 9. With L. Antonius the 

chief Roman orator prior to 

Cicero, of whom he was an elder 

Crates, I. ix. 5. Athenian philo 

sopher, fl. circa 280 B.C. 
Critolaus, n. xv. 19, 23 ; II. xvii. 

15. A Peripatetic of the second 


Demades, n. xvii. 13. An Athen- 
ian orator, contemporary with 

Demetrius of Phalerum, n. lv. 
41. Statesman, poet, philoso- 
pher and orator, 345-283 B 
Didymus, I. viii. 20. Alexandrian 
grammarian and polymath, con- 
temporary with Cicero, variously 
alleged to have written 3,500 
or 4,000 books. 
Diogenes of Babylon, I. i. 9. 

Stoic of the second century. 
Dion, I. x. 48. Syracusan disciple 
of Plato, expelled Dionysius the 
tyrant and became ruler of 
Syracuse, where he was murdered, 
353 B.C. 

Dion of Prusa, ill. ill. 6, 8. Orator 
and philosopher, known as 
Chrysostomus. Contemporary of 

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, in. 
i. 16. Famous rhetorician and 
historian of the Augustan ape. 
Domitiua, in. i. 18. Probably 
Domitius Marsus, a distinguished 
man of letters of the Augustan 

Egeria, n. iv. 19. A nymph, 
counsellor of King Numa. 

Ernpedocles, I. iv. 4 ; in. i. 8. 
Famous philosopher of Agri- 
gentum, fl. 450 B.C. 

Ennius, r. v. 12 ; i. vi. 12 ; I. 
viii. 11 ; ii. xv. 4; n. xvii. 
24. The greatest of the early 
Roman poets. His chief work 
was the Annales, the epic of 
Roman history. Also wrote 
drama and satire. D. 169 B.C. 

Ephorus, n. viii. 11. Wrote a 
history of Greece from the earliest 
times to 341 B.C. 

Eratosthenes, i. i. 16. Poet 
geometrician, astronomer and 
grammarian. Librarian of Alex- 
andria, 276-196 r.c. 

Euenus, I. x. 17. Poet and sophist, 
contemporary with Plato 

Eupolis, I. x. 18. A poet of the 
old comedy, and rival of Aris- 

Fabius Pictor, I. yi. 12. Earliest 
of Roman historians : wrote the 
history of Rome down to the 
battle of Zama. 

Flamiriius, n. xvi. 5. General 
defeated by Hannibal at the 
battle of L. Trasimene. 

Galba, Servius, n. xv. 8. Praetor 
in Spain, put to death a number 
of Lusitanians whom he had 
promised to spare, for which he 
was brought to trial on his 
return to Rome, 150 B.C. 

Gallio, lunius, in. i. 21. Orator 
and friend of Ovid. 

Gavins Bassus, I. vi. 36. Gram- 
marian of early Augustan age. 

Glaucia (C. Servilius), n. xvi 5 
Praetor 100 B.C. Supporter of 
the tribune Saturninus, with 
whom he perished. 

Gorgias of Leontini, n. xxi. 21 

in. i. 8, 12, 13, 18; in. viii! 

The most famous of Greek 

sophists and rhetoricians in the 

fifth century. Born about 480 


Hermagoras (i), I. v. 61 ; n. xv 
14 ; n. xxi. 21 ; in. i. 16 
in. iii. 9; in. v. 4, 14; in. vi. 
3, 21, 53, 56, 59 sq. ; in. xi. 
1, 3, 18, 22. Famous rhetorician 
of the Rhqdian school, con- 
temporary with Cicero 

Hermagoras (ii), m. i. 18. Sur- 
named Canon, rhetorician of the 
Augustan age. 

Hippias of Elis. in. i. 10, 12. 
Famous sophist, contemporary 
with Socrates. 

Hortensia, I. i. 6. Daughter of 
the orator Hortensius. Pleaded 



before Octavian, Antony and 
Lepidus for remission of part 
of the tax imposed on married 

Hortensius, I. v. 12; n. i. 1, 11 ; 
III. v. 11. The leading orator 
at Rome when Cicero first made 
his appearance at the bar, and 
the latter's most serious rival. 

Hyperbolus, I. x. 18. Athenian 
demagogue at end of fifth 
century B.C. 

Hyperides, n. xv. 9. Attic orator 
contemporary with Demosthenes 
and ranked as second only to 

Hypoboliniaeus, T. x. 18. " The 
Supposititious Son," a lost play 
of Menander. 

Irus, ill. vii. 19. A beggar who 
fights Odysseus in the Odussey. 

Isocrates, u. viii. 11 ; II. xv. 4, 
33 ; III. i. 13 sqq. ; III. iv. 11 ; 
in. v. 18 ; in. vi. 3 ; in. viii. 
9. Famous orator and founder 
of the science and technique of 
Greek rhetoric. 436-338 B.C. 

Italia, I. vi. 31. From IraXot = 
oxen, i.e., Oxland. 

Labienus, I. v. 8, Orator and 
historian under Augustus. 

Laelia, I. i. 6. Daughter of Laelius 
the wise and wife of Scaevola. 
She was famous for the pure 
Latinity of her conversation. 

Laenas, Popilius, III. i. 21. Rhe- 
torician probably of the reign 
of Tiberius. 

Latiutn, I. vi. 31. Probably from 
latus == the broad lands : popu- 
larly derived from latere, be- 
cause Saturn lay hid there. 

Leonidas, I. i. 9. Uncle and tutor 
of \lexander the Great. 

Lucilius, I. v. 50 ; I. vi. 8 ; I. 
vii. 15, 19; I. viii. 11. The 
founder of Roman satire. D. 
103 B.C. 

Maelius, Spurius, in. vii. 20. 
Bought up corn in time of 
dearth and sold it cheap to the 


people in 440 B.C. \Yas sus- 
pected of wishing to seize the 
supreme power and killed in the 
following year. 

M. Manlius Capitolinus, III. vii. 
20. Saved Rome from the 
Gauls, but was subsequently 
suspected of aiming at supreme 
power and hurled from the 
Tarpeian rock in 384 B.C. 

Marcellus Victorius, Ep. ad Tryph. 
1 ; 1 Pr. 5. Nothing is known 
of him except for the fact that 
Statins dedicated the Fourth 
Book of the Silvae to him. 

Matins, in. i. 18. A friend of 

Messala, I. v. 15, Gl ; I. vi. 42 ; 
I. vii. 23, 34. Distinguished 
orator and philologist of the 
Augustan age. 

Milo of Croton, I. ix. 5. A famous 
athlete of the sixth century B.C. 

Modestus, I. vi. 36. Probably 
lulius Modestus, a grammarian 
who flourished in the principate 
of Tiberius. 

Naucrates, III. vi. 3. Orator and 
rhetorician, famous for the 
funeral oration on Mausolus, 
king of Caria, in 352 B.C. 

Nicias, I. x. 48. Athenian states- 
man and general, was captured 
with his army in Sicily owing to 
his refusal to march during 
eclipse of the moon, 413 B.C. 

Nireus. III. vii. 19. The hand- 
somest man in the Greek army 
at Troy. 

Pacuvius, I. v. 67; I. viii. 11; 
I. xii. 18. Famous tragic poet, 
220-130 B.C. 

Palaemon, Remmius, I. iv. 20 ; 
I. vi. 35. Famous grammalicus, 
taught Quintilian, fl. circa 30 A.D. 

Palamedes, in. i. 10. Greek chief 
in the Trojan war, put to death 
on false accusation of treachery. 
He was later regarded by the 
sophists as their prototype. 

Pamphilus, in. vi. 34. A rhe- 
torician mentioned by Aristotle. 

Patrocles, II. xv. 16 ; m. vi. 44. 


Rhetorician otherwise unknown. 
Some read latrocles. 

Paulus, L., I. x. 47. The famous 
general, surnamed Macedonicus, 
on account of his successful 
campaign in Macedonia (168 B.C.) 
during which the incident re- 
ferred to occurred. 

Pedianus, Asconius, I. vii. 24 
Distinguished historian and 
critic, contemporary with Quin- 

Pericles, I. x. 47. The eclipse in 
question occurred in 430 B.C. 
on the eve of an expedition to 
the Peloponnese. 

Phoenix, n. iii. 12. The tutor of 
Achilles in the Iliad. 

Plautus, II. xiv. 2 ; in. vi. 23. 
Probably the Stoic Rubellius 
Plautus, d. 62 A.D. 

Plisthenes, in. vii. i 0. A son of 
Atreus. The allusion is un- 

Plotius, II. iv. 42. A rhetorician 
and older contemporary of Cicero. 

Pollio, Asinius, I. v. 8, 56 ; I. 
vi. 42 ; I. viii. 11. Famous 
orator, poet and historian of the 
Augustan age. 

Polycrates, u. xvii. 4 ; ill. i. 11. 
An Athenian rhetorician, con- 
temporary with Socrates. 

Posidonius, in. vi. 37. Famous 
philosopher of the Middle Stoa, 
who taught at Rome in the time 
of Cicero. 

Prodicus of Cos, in. i. 10, 12. 
Sophist of the fifth century B.C. 

Protagoras of Abdera, ill. i. 10, 
12. Sophist of the fifth century 

Publicoia, I. vi. 31 ; in. vii. 18. 
Name (= friend of the people) 
given to M. Valerius, consul in 
opening year of the republic. 

Pythicus, I. vi. 31. Cognomen in 
the family of Sulpicius Camerinus 
(see Dio, 63, 18) ; origin un- 

Quirinalis, collis, I. vi. 31. Vari- 
ously derived from Quirinus, 
Quirites, and the Sabine town of 

Saturninus, n. xvi. 5. Tribune 
and demagogue, killed 100 B.C. 

Sisenna, I. v. 13. Historian and 
man of letters with a passion for 
rare words ; an elder con- 
temporary of Cicero. 

Sophron, I. x. 17. Famous Si- 
cilian writer of mimes, fl. 450 

Sotades, I. viii. 6. Alexandrian 
writer of indecent lampoons, 
third century B.C. 

Stertinius, in. i. 21. Stoic writer 
of the Augustan age. 

Subura, I. vii. 29. A quarter of 
Rome near the Esqiiiline. 

Sulpicius, Callus, I. x. 47 ; II. xv. 8. 
Astronomer. Consul 166 B.C. 
A relative of Servius Sulpicius 
Galba. q.v. 

Sulpicius, Servius, in. viii. 5. 
Distinguished orator contem- 
porary with Cicero, died on an 
embassy to Mark Antony. 

Theodectes, I. iv. 18 ; n. xv. 10 ; 
in. i. 14. Rhetorician of first 
half of fourth century B.C. 

Theodorus (i), of Byzantium, ill. 
i. 11. Rhetorician contemporary 
with Plato. 

Theodorus (ii), of Gadara, n. xv. 
16, 21 ; in. i. 17 ; in. vi. 2, 
36, 51 ; in. xi. 3. Famous 
rhetorician of the Augustan age. 
Theodorei = his followers. 

Theodotus, III. viii. 55. Rhe- 
torician of Samos, by whose 
advice Pompey was murdered; 
was put to death by Brutus, 
43 B.C. 

Theon, m. vi. 48. Stoic and 
rhetorician of the Augustan age. 

Theopompus (i), n. viii. 11. Fa- 
mous Greek historian of latter 
half of fourth century B.C. 

Theopompus (ii), of Sparta, n. 
xvii. 20. (?) King of Sparta, 
eighth century B.C. 

Thersites, in. vii. 19. The mis- 
shapen demagogue of the Iliad. 

Thrasybulus, iii. vi. 26. Over- 
threw the Thirty tyrants of 
Athens, 404 B.C. 



Thrasymachus, in. !. 10 ; in. iii. 
4, 12. Rhetorician contem- 
porary with Plato. 

Timagenes, I. x. 10. Rhetorician 
who came to Rome in 55 B.C. 
from Alexandria. 

Timanthes, n. xiii. 13. Painter, 
ft. 400 B.C. 

Timotheus, n. iii. 3. Celebrated 
lluteplayer of Thebes in the 
time of Alexander. 

Tinga of Placentia, I. v. 12. Con- 
temporary of Cicero, famous for 
his wit. 

Ti.-'ias, n. xvi. 3 ; II. xvii. 7 ; 
in. i. . One of the earliest 
writers on rhetoric, pupil of 
Corax, q.v. 

Trypho. Introductory letter. A 
well-known bookseller and 
publisher at Rome. 

Tutilius, in. i. 21. Rhetorician, 
contemporary with Quintilian. 

Valerius Corvinus, II. iv. 18. 

Consul, 348, 340, 343 B.C 
Valgius Rufus, C., in. i. 18 ; 

in. v. 17. Grammarian and 
rhetorician of the Augustan age. 

Varius, ill. viii. 45. Dramatist 
and epic poet ; friend of Virgil 
and editor of the Aenfid. His 
tragedy, the Thyestes, is highly 
praised, x. i. 98. 

Varro of Atax, I. v. 17. Poet of 
the last years of the republic ; 
translated Apollonius Rhodius 
and Aratus and wrote elegies in 
honour of his mistress Leucadia. 

Varro of Reate, I. iv. 4 ; I. vi. 12, 
37. The most learned of Roman 
writers. Wrote on grammar, 
agriculture and antiquities ; also 
Menippean satires ; d. at great 
age, 28 B.C. 

Verginius Flavus, in. i. 21 ; in. 
vi. 45. Famous rhetorician, who 
flourished under Nero. 

Zeno of Citium, II. xx. 7. Famous 
Stoic philosopher of first half of 
third century B.C. 

Zopyrus of Clnzomenae, ill. vi. 
3. Rhetorician, flourished in 
first half of third century B.C. 

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